The S&D Group on a fact-finding mission to Israel and Palestine

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Three months after US President Donald Trump announced the formal recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel, along with his decision to move the US embassy to the city, the S&D Group is conducting a fact-finding mission to both Israel and Palestine. In the course of the 5 days the S&D MEPs will get first-hand experience of the developments on the ground, with the focus on settlement activities including in East Jerusalem and Hebron. The delegation will also visit Am’ari Girls' School to meet UNRWA student parliamentarians. The S&D MEPs will meet officials from both sides, as well as the leaders of the social democratic parties in Israel and Palestine.
 
The delegation takes place on 24-28 March and includes six S&D MEPs: Elena Valenciano (ES), Maria Arena (BE), Eugen Freund (AT), Linda McAvan (UK), Norbert Neuser (DE) and Soraya Post (SE).
 
S&D Group vice-president and the chair of the delegation, Elena Valenciano MEP, said:
 
"Our S&D mission to Israel and to Palestine aims to continue the dialogue with our sister parties on both sides. We will also meet prominent Palestinian political leaders to discuss the further deteriorating situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. Our Group works all the year round with our partners in the Middle East. This time we also focus on the contribution of Israeli and Palestinian civil society to achieving peace. To this end, we will personally witness the situation in the recognised and unrecognised villages of Bedouins in the Negev.
 
“We are not optimistic, but we want to make it sure that the progressive segment of Israeli society, and of course Palestinian society, as well as the authorities apprehend our solidarity and connection to them, and also understand that we are ready to support and accompany them on the way to peace”.

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