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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

MEPs vote to recognise Palestinian statehood

MEMBERS of the European Parliament have backed the bid for Palestine to be formally recognised as a state by voting to endorse its application to become a UN ‘observer state’. A formal proposal to the UN General Assembly – previously opposed by its Security Council – will next be considered by the United Nations’ this Thursday (November 29).

Speaking at today’s national demonstration outside the Israel embassy calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza, London MEP Jean Lambert said the UN granting official ‘observer’ status to Palestine would make Palestinian calls for full international recognition as a state stronger, more visible and, ultimately, more effective – and contribute to long-term peace in the region.

The Green Party MEP said: “Of course the ceasefire is to be welcomed: there have been enough deaths and injuries.

“But a ceasefire is not the same as permanent peace – and it is not a solution.

“The blockade of Gaza has not worked: it isn’t preventing rocket attacks on Israel, as this last week’s events have shown. But it is stopping the Palestinians living anything like a normal life, and it is robbing them of hope for the future too.”

She added: “There will be no long-term peace until there is a viable Palestinian state, free from illegal settlements and human rights abuses. I hope the Government will support the European Parliament’s proposal this week to take a real step towards that goal.”