The European External Action Service has responded to the calls from Palestinian and European civil society to pressure Israel to #FreeSalah Khawaja and end the repression of human rights defenders. We thank all European organisations, activists, members of parliament and the ECCP, which has put the case of Salah Khawaja on the agenda of the recent EU lobby days, for their efforts to #FreeSalah and to end Israeli repression of human rights defenders.
In the letter, written on behalf of the High Representative of the EU on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the EU underlines that the question of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is a key issue that the EU regularly addresses with Israeli authorities ‘using all diplomatic channels’. In the case of Salah Khawaja, the EU ensures observer presence at the trials and it has raised raised the case with the Mission of Israel to the EU.
While we are hoping that the intervention of the EU and European governments on behalf of Salah will bring justice at least in this case, we are aware that none of the diplomatic channels used by the EU will bring lasting change as long as business as usual continues.
Short of suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the EU should at the very least ensure that the upcoming EU-Israel Association Council to be held at the beginning of 2017 conditions any continuity of cooperation and action within the framework of the Agreement on the full respect by Israel of international law and human rights.