The European Union welcomes the ceasefire to bring the violence to an end. We commend Egypt, Qatar, United States, United Nations, and others who have played a facilitating role in this.
We deeply regret the loss of life over these 11 days. Both Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve to live in peace and security, enjoying human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy.
In previous statements, the EU has already strongly condemned the indiscriminate launching of rockets by Hamas and other terrorist groups on the Israeli territory, stressing that this is unacceptable and that it must stop. The EU has also recognized Israel’s right to self-defense, and has already underlined that this right must be exercised in a proportionate manner and in full respect of international humanitarian law.
The EU’s position on the importance of respecting the status quo of the Holy Sites and upholding the right to worship, as well as on Israel’s settlement policy, including in East Jerusalem, and the humanitarian and socio-economic situation in the Gaza Strip is well known.
Looking ahead, it is of utmost importance to seize the opportunity to restore a political horizon towards a two-state solution, develop confidence-building measures, improve living conditions for the people and open the path towards the potential relaunching of the peace process.
Only a political solution will bring sustainable peace and end once for all the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The EU is united in its commitment to achieving a two-state solution -- based on parameters set out in the Council Conclusions of July 2014. Any unilateral decision that undermines a lasting, agreed solution should be avoided. The EU urges both sides to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild trust and create a path back to meaningful negotiations.
The EU is ready to fully support Israeli and Palestinian authorities in these efforts.