On 3 October, the “EU-Israel Association Council” convened in Brussels, Belgium, with the participation of 27 European foreign ministers, EU foreign affairs head Josep Borrell, and the Israeli Intelligence Minister Elizar Stern, with prime minister Yair Lapid appearing over video call. This was the first meeting of this council in 10 years after meetings were suspended over settlement expansion. Read our statement calling for an end to the EU-Israel Association Agreement, which rewards the occupation for its war crimes and crimes against humanity with preferential trade status and EU funding, here.
In line with our statement, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network sent a letter to all Members of European Parliament in protest of the meeting. In the letter, Samidoun draws attention to the letter of 47 MEPs which called for the meeting to be cancelled due to ongoing Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, as well as the press conference and letter by the National and Islamic Forces in Gaza, occupied Palestine, demanding an end to the EU-Israel Association Council.
The Samidoun letter focuses on the situation of Palestinian prisoners, particularly the 30 Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike to end administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. It draws particular attention to the case of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, an EU citizen currently on hunger strike and held in isolation to end his detention.Letter to MEPs on EU-Israel Association
In Brussels, several organizations, including the Association Belgo-Palestinienne, organized a rally outside the headquarters of the European Commission, with the participation of Samidoun members and others, who shared information about the 29 October March for Return and Liberation from Lumumba Square to the European Parliament, and the Week of Action for Palestinian Liberation.
Earlier, “Free Palestine” graffiti had been sprayed in the vicinity of the EU buildings with slogans highlighting European complicity in Israeli crimes.
In Gothenburg, Sweden, organizations in the Palestine Coordination, including Samidoun Gothenburg, gathered together to send a solidarity message declaring that Lapid and the EU-Israel Association Council are not welcome:
On October 29, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network will join with our comrades in the Masar Badil (Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement), CAPJPO-EuroPalestine, Collectif Palestine Vaincra, Plate-Forme Charleroi-Palestine, Classe Contre Classe, Secours Rouge and many more to march from Lumumba Square to the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The March for Return and Liberation will begin at 2 pm, calling for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea, and including demands to end the EU-Israel Association Agreement and kick the occupation regime out of EU bodies and agreements. This march is the culmination of the Week for Palestinian Liberation in Brussels, from 24-29 October. Join us!