EMHRN welcomes the reconciliation agreement signed between Palestinian factions on 24 May 2014 and urges the EU and its Member States to support the implementation of this agreement in the interest of peace and human rights.
Since the split between the political factions in 2007, Palestinians have widely suffered from a wave of human rights violations as power struggles moved the prospect of representation under a unity government and Palestinian self-determination ever further.
This agreement is a vital step towards putting an end to human rights violations and ensuring accountability through a process of transitional justice.
The agreement includes provisions for supporting transitional justice and fundamental freedoms and calls for the organisation of free and fair elections in the next six months in Gaza and the West Bank.
These are necessary steps to foster Palestinian democracy and ensure accountability that must be supported.
Palestine’s recent accession to 15 multilateral treaties and conventions is an important means to ensure the promotion and protection of Palestinian basic rights.
The accession, ratification and implementation of international human rights instruments should be consistently supported for all states in line with the EU’s foreign policy goals.
The split between the political factions have also posed a serious impediment to the unity of a future Palestinian state and the EU’s core objective of achieving peace under a two-state solution.
It is vital that the current peace negotiations take into account the territorial unity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory as stipulated in international law and ensure that Gaza form an integral part of the current negotiations.
The European Union has repeatedly called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation and the organisation of free and fair elections, including in its Council Conclusions of May 2011 and 2012.
This agreement offers the EU a unique opportunity to translate these words into actions.
EMHRN therefore calls on the EU and its Member States to: Actively support the intra-Palestinian reconciliation process through the provision of political, technical and financial support and respect the will of the Palestinian people as expressed through free and fair elections under a future unity government that is respectful of the rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people; Support a Palestinian government that is committed to human rights and to hold free elections, which is due to be formed in the coming five weeks; Support Palestinian efforts to abide by international law through the accession and implementation of international human rights instruments.