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European Socialists divided over Israel-Palestine position

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The European Socialist Party (PES) did not reach a common position on the current events in Israel and Palestine during its congress occurring in Málaga, Spain, a source from the PES told Euractiv. 

The draft resolution, which will be approved on Friday (10 November) and seen by Euractiv, does not contain any part dedicated to the situation in the region.

Another document was discussed by the PES presidency on the matter, but sharp division persisted among socialist leaders and as a consequence, the drafting process stalled.

Israeli-Hamas war started on October 7, with an Hama’s incursion in Israeli territories close to the Gaza strip, killing 1,400 people and keeping hostages until now.

Since then, Israel has enacted its military operation on the Gaza Strip, with Israeli strikes killing over 10,000 people – the vast majority of which are civilians, according to Gaza’s health ministry. More than 1.5 million Palestinians have been displaced by Israel’s military actions in the past four weeks.

The crisis has divided political forces, with many officials – including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – having received condemnation for their stance.

With PES, the sharpest divisions persisted among the Spanish, Irish and German Socialists, according to Euractiv’s source.

The Spanish delegation asked to include in the document the fact that all parties involved in the conflict must respect international law, while the Irish socialists went even further asking for a ceasefire.

These positions did not go down well with the German socialists, however, who according to the source, did not want the statement to include any reference to infringement of international law by Israel.

On Friday evening, EU socialist leaders, including prime ministers and ministers will meet for a pre-arranged dinner, where it is expected that the matter will be discussed – despite it not being planned as such.

Among the heads of state participating in the dinner are the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, together with other “European Commissioners, party leaders and high-level representatives of the PES family,” a press release by the PES sent to Euractiv explains.

Among the Commissioners participating in the congress are Paolo Gentiloni, Maroš Šefčovič, and Nicolas Schmit.

[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]

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