Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-04-26-Speech-3-088"

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"Mr President, we have been monitoring with horror an exceptionally dangerous escalation of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories since 30 March. According to the official report by the UN special coordinator for the Middle East to the Security Council, 40 people lost their lives last month, including at least three Palestinian children. And yet the vicious circle of violence continued with suicide attacks. We condemn the acts of violence against unarmed civilians, which can only cause pain and additional hardship. This escalation in the situation is not helping to resolve the problem. The European Union is being called on and must also play its part in addressing the situation, by making an active contribution to stabilisation and to the resumption of talks to resolve the Palestinian problem. Here, we want to express our support for the recent statement by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who is expressing his readiness to resume talks with Israel, and our disappointment, Commissioner, at the recent rejection of this proposal by the Israeli Government. How in truth can the situation be stabilised when the European Council decides to freeze funding to the Palestinian Authority, support funds connected to whether or not the Palestinian people can survive – albeit with difficulty – and, at the same time, strengthen its state structures as a guarantee for the future creation of an independent Palestinian state? What message are we sending with this decision to the Israelis, I wonder? How does the state of Israel see this? Possibly as a blank cheque for the continuation of the acts of violence and economic isolation, at a time when the international community is punishing the Palestinians. Who knows how late it will be by the time the quartet meets on 9 May. I also wish to comment on the statement by my honourable friend Mr Batten, about the 'sad' decision taken by the Palestinian people. How on earth can we qualify as 'sad' a decision taken in a free, democratic manner, while under occupation, by a people in elections which we have called fair and transparent?"@en1

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