Gianni Pittella, President of the Social & Democrat Group in the European Parliament
Clare has been contacted by many constituents about the conflict between Israel and Palestine. She fully shares the deep concerns expressed about the appalling levels of violence and deaths in the Middle East. In July, Clare joined other Labour MEPs lobbying for and supporting a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire agreement and an end to all acts of violence which threaten civilian lives.
Hence Clare is really pleased that after these months of fighting and thousands of civilian deaths and casualties, a permanent ceasefire deal has been brokered by Egypt's government. It is a welcome and much needed step forward and all sides must now fully respect and uphold its terms.
The first priority for the international community is to help ensure that basic supplies such as food, water, and medical provisions are made available to meet the desperate needs of the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have been forced from their homes by the recent violence.
Alongside that immediate humanitarian response, the focus must be on turning this welcome ceasefire into a permanent peace by agreeing a process that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict.
Only a wider political agreement to end the violence will provide the longer term security that civilians on all sides crave. An end to terror, blockade and occupation is the only path towards a negotiated two state solution that can bring lasting security and justice to the Israeli and Palestinian people. The conflict will not be resolved without lifting the blockade on Gaza, Clare also supports the calls for the Israeli authorities to allow European Parliament delegations to visit Gaza.
Together with her colleagues, she has supported a call for full respect for international humanitarian and human rights law, which unequivocally requires the protection of civilians and vital civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
The Social & Democrat Group (of which Clare is a member) president Gianni Pittella, recently met with a series of high-level politicians including Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel Labour Party chairman Isaac Herzog, Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and foreign minister Riad al-Malki. Clare strongly supports his view that Europe’s role is to save Israel and Palestine from extremism
She shares his dismay at the announcements from the Israeli government about building new settlement units and expropriating Palestinian land. This policy can only create more extremism. Clare also strongly supports and encourages the efforts of the Palestinian consensus government to take over authority in Gaza, in order to isolate extremists. There is no doubt that Gaza must be part of the future Palestinian state.