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Over 200 European organisations urge immediate suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement amidst Gaza crisis

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Photo: CCFD - Terre Solidaire

Over 200 European organisations urge immediate suspension of the EU-Israel association agreement amidst Gaza crisis

14 March 2024

Dublin, 14/03/2024: Today, a coalition of 206 European civil society groups, 20 of which were based in Ireland, submitted a letter to the EU Commission, the EU Council, and the European Parliament, calling for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement in light of the violation of Human Rights by the State of Israel.

In January, in view of South Africa’s case alleging genocide against the Israeli government, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that some of the accusations indicate that genocide could be plausible in specific instances. The ICJ ordered the Israeli Government to take all measures within its power to prevent acts within the scope of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Coalition believes that the fact that the ICJ considered South Africa’s claims as ‘plausible’ and has issued provisional measures against the Israeli Government, then this should raise serious alarm bells in the EU. However, Israel’s economy continues to enjoy privileged access to the EU market through the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

The Coalition believes that civil society should stand united in calling for the suspension of the EU-Israel Agreement, and that it’s time for the EU to uphold its commitment to human rights and democratic principles and take concrete action to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The coalition’s letter to the EU stresses that prior to the current hostilities, Palestinians have faced systematic rights violations, including land expropriation, forced evictions, property demolition and restrictions on movement, persisting since 1948.

John Colreavy of Comhlámh Trade Justice Group, one of the Irish Groups that signed the letter, stressed: “It is imperative that the EU demonstrates its commitment to human rights by suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and holding Israel accountable for its actions. What is currently happening in Gaza is the consequence of a political and moral failure of the international community to take any meaningful action to oblige the State of Israel to comply with the norms of international humanitarian law”. Colreavy concluded: “The EU’s economic influence necessitates immediate action to suspend the agreement, as permitted under international law. The EU Civil Society demands decisive steps to hold the Israeli Government accountable and halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza”.

see the letter and the signatories (pdf)

 source: Comhlamh