We call on the EU to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until Israel respects human rights and International Law.
The EU is Israel’s biggest importer of goods, and its second biggest exporter. In 2006 the total traded between the EU and Israel amounted to 23.5 BILLION Euros.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement forms the legal basis for this relationship which gives Israel preferential trade terms with EU countries.
Article 2 of the Agreement states that these relations shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which must guide internal and international policy.
The EU is therefore obligated under this Article to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement whilst Israel is in breach of human rights.
The Peace Cycle has travelled to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and witnessed first hand the many abuses of human rights by the Israeli Authorities, including:
� Loss of freedom of movement of the Palestinian people by the placement of checkpoints and earth mounds at strategic locations within the Occupied Territories, making travel between villages and towns often impossible and inhibiting the movement of trade across the territories.
� Israeli-only roads that prohibit use by Palestinian cars and passengers thereby making their journeys far longer than necessary, and often impossible.
� Demolition of Palestinian houses by the Israeli authorities resulting in the heartbreaking loss of family homes and possessions, and destroying their sense of security and belonging.
� Theft of Palestinian land in order to build the separation wall; a barrier deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, and which has served to further limit freedom of movement and cause loss of trade, resulting in high unemployment and extreme poverty levels.
� Refugee camps where families have been waiting for sixty years to return to their lost homes or to have compensation addressed.
� The uprooting of millions of olive trees, a symbol of Palestinian life, to make way for continuous Israeli settlement building on stolen Palestinian lands, despite the settlements having been deemed illegal and even though cessation of this activity is clearly defined in the latest peace initiative at Annapolis.
� Countless more acts of Israeli aggression towards the Palestinian people, which continue daily, and remain unchallenged on the pretext of security.
What the Peace Cycle has witnessed illustrates the abuses of human rights that at different times over many years have been judged to be illegal by international courts across the world. Yet the EU does nothing visible to bring Israel to account. Whilst this abuse goes on, the EU-Israel Association Agreement has allowed trade with Israel to flourish, with the addition of the EU-Israel Action Plan in 2005-2008 that has allowed for even closer partnerships to develop.
We call for an immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and any further trade between Israel and EU Member States in protest against Israel’s continued violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.
This measure of protest should be maintained until Israel ends the illegal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the siege of Gaza and fully complies with international human rights law.
The Peace Cycle will personally deliver this petition to the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 9th September 2008.