Europe blames Israel for Gaza's humanitarian situation

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approves report accusing Israel of “systematic and illegal” killings of Gazans.

Hezki Baruch ,

MK Lavie speaks to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
MK Lavie speaks to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Knesset Department of Foreign Relations

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday voted by a majority of 46 to 12, with two abstentions, to approve a report blaming Israel for the humanitarian situation in Gaza and accusing Israel of “systematic and illegal” killings of Gazans.

The report accuses Israel of being involved in "incidents in which individuals who did not constitute an immediate danger to human life were killed deliberately, which constitutes a modus operandi of killing which is allegedly systematic and illegal.”

It further states: "We call on the EU to support the possibility of a formal investigation of the International Criminal Court, if the findings show there are reasonable grounds to do so."

The report calls for the removal of the blockade on Gaza, to ensure that vital and medical goods are received by the residents of Gaza, to allow Palestinian Arabs to look for work in Israel, and to prepare a multi-year plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

"Since Israel's military operation in Gaza in 2014, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated significantly; 17,650 families, comprising about 100,000 people, have been displaced," the report claims.

It also makes demands of the Palestinian Authority, including the need to prevent and denounce acts of terrorism against Israel.

The report was approved despite efforts by Israeli MKs to prevent the move. MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid), head of the Knesset delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, spoke before the vote and demanded that the report be rejected.

"This is a misrepresentation which selectively distorts reality,” said MK Lavie, adding, “The report is based on rumors and not facts. We took our citizens and even our dead out of Gaza in 2005, and in return we were immediately attacked with missiles. Israel provides a third of Gaza’s electricity free of charge, 130,000 Palestinians received free medical treatment in Israel last year, including relatives of [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh, and yet we’re being accused of causing a humanitarian crisis."

Lavie continued, "Where are the millions of dollars sent by the Council of Europe to the Palestinians to rebuild Gaza? Where did the money go?”

MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu), who together with MK Lavie represented Israel in the discussions in the Council, said, "Israel wants to live in peace with its neighbors. Gaza is not under siege but is being supervised in order to protect the citizens of Israel, Jews and Arabs alike. I hope that one day we will be able to discuss these issues seriously in order to build a better future for the region together.”