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Press Release – European Friends of Israel

It is regrettable when voices are raised to undermine the EU’s position vis-à-vis Hamas, blaming Israel for the fratricidal three day war in Gaza, which has left more than 116 people dead. The EFI welcomes Israel’s decision to resume payments of Palestinian tax revenues if the Palestinian government commits to a goal of a future Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace with Israel. The EFI also supports the position of the European Commission to resume direct aid to the Palestinian government if the latter commits to sound bookkeeping. Financial transparency and accountability of the Palestinian government is essential for any humanitarian and economic aid to be successful.

The EFI condemns a premeditated and a well planned military coup by Hamas supported by Iran in the Gaza strip aimed to defeat, once and for all, Fatah, the secular Palestinian nationalist party that negotiated a peace with Israel. Alongside with the violent clashes in Gaza, rockets were fired again towards Israel, thus breaking the cease-fire. We must extend our sympathy to Israel now as Iran is rejoicing that its proxies Hezbollah to the north and Hamas to the south now encircle Israel.”

The EFI welcomes the appointment of Salam Fayyad as Prime Minister of the Palestinian emergency government. The EFI call upon the new Prime Minister and his government to restore order in the Palestinian territories and provide conditions for the financial and humanitarian assistance to be resumed in a transparent and accountable manner. The EFI expects the new Palestinian government to work constructively with Israel in finding a lasting solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict underpinned by mutual recognition, respect, non-violence and legality.

The Steering Committee of EFI is comprised of 11 MEPS : Chairman, Mr. Gunnar Hökmark, Vice-Chairman : Mr. Marek Siwiec (Vice-President of the European Parliament), Mrs. Frederique Ries, Members : Mr. Paulo Casaca, Mr. Charles Tannock, Mr. Patrick Gaubert, Mr. Hannu Takkula, Mr. Antonio Tajani, Mr. Hartmut Nassauer, Mrs. Monika Benova, Mrs. Katalin Levai.

EFI was established in September 2006 as a trans-European, politically independent Association headquartered in Brussels. EFI aims to bring together all Parliamentary Friends of Israel from the European Parliament and Parliamentary friendship groups from the 27 EU Members States.