European Parliamentarians reaffirm two-state solution during campus visit

A cross-party delegation of the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Palestine emphasized on February 22, 2017 that a two-state solution is the only way forward for Palestine’s liberation in a visit marking 50 years of Israeli occupation.

The group was led by Delegation Chair Neoklis Sylikiotis, and composed of three other members: the vice-chair of the delegation Margrete Auken, Ivo Vajgl and Angela Vallina.

The group met with university president Abdullatif Abuhijleh and a number of administrative and academic staff members and students.

Abuhijleh explained the challenges facing higher education in Palestine, including the Israeli occupation’s regulations that bar the entry of academics wishing to teach in Palestine and prevent Gaza students from studying at West Bank universities.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman highlighted the systematic practices of the Israeli occupation that hinder educational progress for universities, particularly their ability to attract international academics and students and the imposition of severe mobility restrictions.

Director of Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Relations Lord Habash described the history of Palestinians as a history of resistance, especially within its educational system. Habash pointed out that academia is one of the means that Palestinian youth express themselves, and find a platform to defend their fundamental cause.

The delegation also met with a number of students and professors from the Faculty of Law and Public Administration, experts in international studies, and democracy and human rights, in a debate entitled “Fifty years of occupation: the way forward to a two-state solution.”

The group discussed means to move towards achieving the two state goal and the role of the EU in supporting that goal. The delegation emphasized its recognition of a viable independent state, affirming that the EU must exert pressure on Israel in order to put an end to settlements, lift the occupation and commit to a roadmap to end the suffering of Palestinians.