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Endorsed by the IPU Governing Council at its 186th session
The Committee recalls that Israeli settlement, construction and expansion activities anywhere in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and that settlement activities prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and compromise the viability of an agreed two-State solution. Moreover, they undermine efforts to establish trust between the parties and the credibility of the international community. The Committee is therefore very concerned at the latest Israeli announcement that it plans to build 1,600 settlement units in East Jerusalem and 120 units in the West Bank.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains central to the future of the Middle East. It affects the entire Arab and Muslim world. Threats of recourse to brute force and the upsurge of extremism in the region increase the risks to global peace. It is urgent to re-establish respect for international law with a view to providing both Israelis and Palestinians with the conditions for the peaceful life to which they aspire.
The Committee recalls that the principles underlying a solution and its broad outline are well known. They have been spelt out and reaffirmed on numerous occasions by a large number of actors, including by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Middle East Quartet composed of the United Nations, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States.; The Arab Peace Initiative originally put forth by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides additional support by offering full recognition to Israel by the Arab States once a Palestinian State has been established. More recently, the European Union, in its "Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process" adopted in December last year, sets forth proposals for advancing towards the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement.
The Committee urges Israel to do its part in ending more than forty years of occupation and to join the Palestinian Authority in committing to a negotiated solution to the conflict based on the terms of reference established in the Oslo Accords and repeated in the 2003 Road Map to peace in the Middle East.
The Committee expresses the hope that Israel will commit to a process of releasing the political prisoners, in particular the long-standing prisoners detained prior to the Oslo Accords and the women and children, some of whom were born in prison. Notwithstanding this, it calls on all Palestinians, and in particular those armed groups which launch attacks against the Israeli population, to show restraint and refrain from further violent acts, especially firing missiles into Israel, and urges Israel and the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table.