Eviction of Jerusalemite Palestinians illegal under int’l law, says EU ambassador

The evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and other areas of East Jerusalem are illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground, EU ambassador to Jordan, Maria Hadjitheodosiou, said on Sunday.

In a wide ranging interview with the Jordan News Agency (Petra), Hadjitheodosiou indicated that tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, particularly in East Jerusalem, have dangerously risen over the past few days, renewing the EU’s call that acts of incitement around the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Haram al-Sharif must be avoided and the status quo has to be respected.

She underlined the bloc’s call on the Israeli authorities to act urgently to de-escalate the current tensions in Jerusalem.

“The EU’s long term policy asserts that negotiations remain the best way forward, thus the EU works continuously with its partners, including Jordan, to re-launch peace negotiations. We recognize Jordan’s vital role in supporting the efforts for finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the ambassador emphasized.

She noted that the recently-appointed EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Mr Sven Koopmans will now lead the EU’s efforts for the resumption of negotiations for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, working closely with the UN and EU’s partners in the region, including Jordan.

Hadjitheodosiou said: “We believe that if an agreement to finally end the conflict were to be reached, the door would open to a deepened and enhanced cooperation among all the countries of the region.”

The resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the ambassador stressed, is a fundamental interest of the EU. The EU’s objective is a two-state solution with an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors, saying: “The EU has consistently expressed its concerns about developments on the ground, which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”

“In our view, the only way to resolve the conflict is through an agreement that ends the occupation, which began in 1967, that ends all claims and that fulfills the aspirations of both parties. A lasting solution must be achieved on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, agreements previously reached by the parties and of the Arab Peace Initiative,” Hadjitheodosiou emphasized.

Source: Jordan News Agency