European Parliament passes resolution favoring Palestinian statehood recognition

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution that supports in principle recognition of a Palestinian state as part of peace talks with Israel.

The resolution, which was drawn up by five political groups, passed on Wednesday during a vote in the European Parliament’s seat in Strasbourg by 498 votes to 88, with 111 abstentions, the European Parliament’s press service wrote in a statement.

In it, parliament affirms its supports for “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution.” The non-binding resolution also states that the parliament believes “these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

“To support E.U. diplomatic efforts in the Middle East peace process, it [parliament] also decided to launch a ‘Parliamentarians for Peace’ initiative to bring together MEPs and MPs from the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments,” the statement read.

The vote followed several non-bonding resolutions in the parliaments of Britain, France, Ireland and Portugal, which called on their governments to recognize Palestinian statehood without delay. Spain’s congress passed a resolution that conditions recognition  on the conclusion of talks with Israel. The Danish and Slovenian parliaments are also scheduled to vote on non-binding resolutions on recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Also in the resolution, parliament reiterates “its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law”.

MEPs also condemn in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism or violence and “stress the importance of consolidating the authority of the Palestinian consensus government and urge all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to end internal divisions,” the statement read.

The resolution reiterates the European Union’s position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.