HAMAS ELECTION A WAKE UP CALL FOR EU, WARN MEPs
BRUSSELS HEARS CALLS FOR NEW INTERNATIONAL PEACE INITIATIVE
THE unexpected victory in the Palestinian elections of Hamas is not only a
response to frustration over corruption, MEPs have warned. It is also a
wake-up call to the EU and US of the growing impatience of Palestinians at
the international community's failure to address the anger and humiliation
of a population living under the enormously oppressive Israeli occupation.
The United Nations, US, Russia and the EU (the ‘Quartet’) must respect the
result, and now deliver a strong initiative to kick-start peace talks, doing
all they can to ensure both the Israeli authorities and Palestinian groups
respect a continued truce, say Green Party Euro-MPs.
Dr Lucas, a Green Party MEP and Co-President of the European parliament’s
cross-party Peace Initiatives group, said: “Hamas has won a peaceful,
orderly election with the backing of a high turnout – and on the back of an
effective cease-fire. The EU and other Quartet members must respect this.
“On the other hand, Israel has severely restricted freedom of movement of
candidates and voters and destabilised the democratic process in East
Jerusalem, as well as ignoring international and domestic legal rulings by
maintaining construction of its ‘security barrier’ – and it continues
military attacks on Palestinians. Just this week a nine-year-old Palestinian
girl was shot by Israeli forces.
“We must remember that humanitarian aid should be unconditional, and ensure
that the Palestinians do not suffer financially when they exercise their
“Of course it is right to call on Hamas to renounce violence. But we must
also stress that both sides in this conflict must agree to abide by
international law and democratic human rights standards – that means a
cessation of violence, whether sponsored by Hamas or the Israeli
Dr Lucas’s comments came as MEPs prepare to debate the implications of the
Palestinian election results following statements by the EU Council and
Commission in Brussels on Wednesday (February 1).
Dr Lucas, who visited the West Bank last year as a member of the EU’s
observation mission which monitored the election of Palestinian president
Mahmoud Abbas, added: “The way the Palestinians have conducted this week’s
election is very encouraging for those of us that hope to see real democracy
spread and take hold across the Middle East. We must respect the result,
without placing impossible conditions on Hamas, or risk destabilising the
region further and setting back the cause of promoting democracy in the
region by years.