High Representative/ and Vice President Borrell 24 May 2022
Neil Mac Call, Head of Division (MENA.2), EEAS
Dear Dr. Borrell and Mr. Mac Call,
We are writing to seek a Zoom meeting with you about the recent cycle of violence between Israel and the Palestinians. Since the beginning of March, 28 Palestinians and 17 Israelis have been killed. Most worrying of all, Israeli politicians have started threatening the life of the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and claiming Israel may have to attack Gaza yet again to stop Palestinian terrorist attacks.
Underlying the recurring violence is Israel’s determination to maintain the 55-year long occupation, increase settlements and take over more Palestinian land. Notwithstanding their ritual anguish whenever a Jewish Israeli is killed, Israeli leaders understand full well that Palestinians will resist and there will continue to be loss of life on both sides.
There is no incentive for them to change course as long as they see the Israeli death toll as politically manageable and continue to countenance the much higher Palestinian death toll, and as long as Israel continues to enjoy all the benefits of the EU/Israel Association Agreement. The Israeli military even have a phrase for the repeated attacks on Gaza. They call it “mowing the lawn”.
The cycles of violence have been occurring since 2000. There have been many different flashpoints – sometimes Israeli police aggression on the Noble Sanctuary, sometimes ultra-nationalist religious Jews praying on the Noble Sanctuary in violation of the Status Quo agreement, sometimes continuing evictions in East Jerusalem, and sometimes a spike in house demolitions in the West Bank. Most recently the Israeli police attacked the peaceful mourners at the funeral for the murdered Palestinian Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, even tearing down the Palestinian flags the mourners were carrying.
We urge you to make it clear to the Israeli government that there will be severe adverse consequences for its relationship with the EU if it assassinates a Palestinian leader or mounts another attack on Gaza.
We hope to hear from you shortly to arrange a Zoom meeting.
Dror Feiler, Chair, EJJP, Judar för Israelisk-Palestinsk Fred, Stockholm
Arthur Goodman, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Liaison Officer, JJP,London