Flare-up of tension in the Middle East
Resolution 1748 (2010)1
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Order 549 (1999) and Resolutions 1183 (1999), 1245 and 1514 (2001), 1281 and 1294 (2002), 1420 and 1452 (2005), 1493 and 1520 (2006) and 1550 (2007) and reaffirms, in particular, its Resolution 1700 (2010) on the Situation in the Middle East, adopted in January 2010.
2. The Assembly is deeply concerned at the serious flare-up of tension in the Middle East and the set-back in the peace process caused by the Israeli military attack on a humanitarian flotilla to Gaza on 31 May 2010 which led to the death of nine activists of Turkish nationality.
3. The Assembly extends its condolences to the families and friends of the victims of this attack and expresses its solidarity with the injured.
4. It considers the Israeli raid, which took place in international waters, an illegal act constituting a breach of international law, in particular customary law of the sea and international human rights and humanitarian law. The Assembly regards the response of the Israeli forces to the plan by the flotilla of six ships to break the blockade in place as manifestly disproportionate. It shares, in this respect, the positions of condemnation taken by the United Nations, the Quartet, the European Union and the majority of the international community and deplores that the Israeli authorities have not, so far, accepted the request for an international enquiry committee. The Assembly believes that Israel should co-operate with the international community which has called for a prompt, international, impartial and transparent enquiry.
5. The Assembly reaffirms that both the use of force and the right to self defence must never violate international law.
6. The Assembly reaffirms that terrorism is the foe of peace and that everyones responsibility is to fight it in all its forms.
7. It underlines that the living conditions of the people of Gaza have become increasingly harsh as a result of the blockade imposed on them and considers the announcement by the Israeli Government of a partial easing of the blockade to be a first step. It considers, however, that the blockade, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, should be lifted and that the approaches to Gaza should be free, while at the same time ensuring the security of Israel. It calls therefore for the strengthening of measures to prevent the introduction of weapons and illicit material into Gaza and for an increased control role, by land and by sea, of the European Union civil mission already in place.
8. The Assembly once again underlines that the conflict in the Middle East above all concerns two equally legitimate aspirations Israels right to be recognised and to exist in safety and the Palestinians right to have an independent, viable and contiguous state and that a stable peace cannot be achieved unless the aspirations and rights of both peoples are fulfilled.
9. It reiterates the urgent need to resume the dialogue and negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians as the only way to achieve a lasting and shared peace, with an independent and sovereign Palestinian State alongside a secure and recognised State of Israel. It expresses its full support for the proximity talks and urges the parties to co-operate fully for a positive outcome.
10. The Assembly appreciates the intensive efforts made by President Obama and his Special Envoy for the Middle East, George Mitchell, as well as those made by the Quartet and its Middle East Envoy Tony Blair, and notes that this crisis commands the United Nations and the European Union to increase their commitment. It welcomes declarations by the Arab League on its continuing commitment to a negotiated peace based on the Arab Peace Plan. The Assembly hopes that, despite the recent crisis, Turkey will continue to play a positive role in favour of stability in the region.
11. The Assembly therefore urges the Government of Israel to:
11.1. determine rapidly and unequivocally individual and collective responsibilities for acts relating to the attack against the flotilla to Gaza;
11.2. return personal goods confiscated from those on the ships of the flotilla to the rightful owners;
11.3. co-operate with the international community to ensure a prompt, international, impartial and transparent enquiry;
11.4. ensure that the Enquiry Commission it has appointed carries out a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent enquiry according to international criteria, and that its members enjoy full independence and freedom of action;
11.5. lift the blockade of Gaza, ensuring access by land and by sea, both by allowing the orderly delivery of all goods necessary to ensure normal living conditions of the population and the development of economic and social activities without prejudice to its own security, and by permitting exports which will promote economic and commercial activity in the territory;
11.6. stop the buildings of new settlements and the extension of the existing ones in the occupied territories including in East Jerusalem and remove what are referred to as "illegal outposts;
11.7. pursue the reduction of checkpoints into the West Bank;
11.8. ensure that the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas and the Fayad Government are in a position to assume their responsibilities and exercise their powers;
11.9. release all Palestinian political prisoners.
12. The Assembly urges all Palestinian forces to recognise the authority of President Mahmoud Abbas and support the peace process.
13. It calls on Hamas to:
13.1. recognise the right of the State of Israel to exist, as well as endorse the Arab Peace Plan;
13.2. stop the launching of rockets at Israeli targets and to renounce explicitly all violent forms of struggle;
13.3. stop attacks against international NGOs in Gaza;
13.4. allow the Red Cross to immediately visit the soldier Gilad Shalit;
13.5. release soldier Gilad Shalit.
14. It urges Fatah and Hamas to resume negotiations for an agreement consistent with the goal of a negotiated peace.
15. The Assembly welcomes the humanitarian activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and calls on all donor countries to ensure adequate financial resources to respond to the needs of the population of Gaza.
16. The Assembly reaffirms its commitment to promoting dialogue between the parties, notably through the Tripartite Forum bringing together the Assembly, the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council.
17. The Assembly further calls upon the European Union and the Member countries of the Council of Europe to:
17.1. continue assisting economic development in the Palestinian territories;
17.2. enhance the training of Palestinian police and improvement of Palestinian security structures;
17.3. offer to contribute to measures to improve the living conditions of the people of Gaza by inter alia monitoring imports at border crossings
1 Assembly debate on 24 June 2010 (25th Sitting) (see Doc. 12308, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Fassino and Doc. 12310, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Pourgourides). Text adopted by the Assembly on 24 June 2010 (25th Sitting).