(May 14, 2018 / EJP) BRUSSELS —“The European Union has a clear, consolidated position on Jerusalem, which was reaffirmed in numerous Foreign Affairs Council conclusions. The E.U. will continue to respect the international consensus on Jerusalem embodied in, inter alia, U.N. Security Council Resolution 478, including on the location of diplomatic representations until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved,’’ said E.U. Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini on Monday, as the United States officially inaugurated its embassy move in Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians. The ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem are irrefutable, and must not be denied. And the same is true for the ties of the Palestinian people to the city,’’ she said in a statement.
The European Union was not represented at the official ceremony inaugurating the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.
In her statement, Mogherini also addressed Monday’s events along the Israel-Gaza border fence where thousands of Palestinians massed, encouraged by the Palestinian terror group Hamas, in an attempt to carry out attacks on Israeli security forces and also infiltrate Israel.
The Israeli army said protesters were setting tires ablaze and rolling them toward the fence. So far, at least 40 protestors have been killed, and hundreds more wounded.
Mogherini declared: “Dozens of Palestinians, including children, have been killed and hundreds injured from Israeli fire today, during ongoing mass protests near the Gaza fence. We expect all to act with utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life. Israel must respect the right to peaceful protest and the principle of proportionality in the use of force. Hamas and those leading the demonstrations in Gaza must ensure that they remain strictly non-violent and must not exploit them for other means.’’
“During these days, both Israelis and Palestinians are commemorating defining moments for their nations. Each side in this conflict has legitimate claims and aspirations which need to be mutually acknowledged,’’ she added.
Mogherini stressed that “any further escalation of an already extremely tense and complex situation would cause again further unspeakable sufferings to both peoples, and will make the perspective of peace and security even more remote.’’
“In this moment, wisdom and courage would be needed to go back to negotiations for a political solution, for the sake both of the Israeli and the Palestinian people, and the entire region. Only a two-state solution will realistically allow both sides to fulfill their aspirations, put an end to the conflict, and achieve the just and lasting peace that Israelis and Palestinians long for and deserve.’’
She said the E.U. “remains firmly committed to continue working with both parties and with its partners in the international community towards a resumption of meaningful negotiations aimed at a two-state solution, based on the June 4, 1967 lines and with Jerusalem as capital of both.’’