PES mission to the Middle East

PES mission to the Middle East

A high-level delegation from the Party of European Socialists (PES) has visited Israel and Palestine to see the situation on the ground first handedly. 

The PES delegation was composed of PES Executive Vice President Francisco André, PES Vice President Kati Piri, PES Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck, FEPS Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs and former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden Ann Linde, and Head of Foreign Affairs, Europe and International Cooperation of PD Italy, Peppe Provenzano.

From 3 to 5 December, the delegation traveled to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kibbutz Be’eri, and Ramallah for a number of high-level meetings with key leaders.

The delegation met with the leadership of PES observer member parties both from Israel, HaAvoda (Labour Party) and Meretz, and from Palestine Fatah and the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI).

While in Ramallah, the delegation also met with the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine Mohammad Shtayyeh.

At the end of the mission, the members of the PES delegation were received by the President of the State of Israel Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem.

The PES immediately condemned the Hamas attacks on 7 October and has consistently called for the release of all hostages immediately and without conditions. 

The PES reiterates its recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself, in full compliance with international law, with a clear focus on minimizing the impact on civilians. The PES calls for an end to the suffering in Gaza, calls for humanitarian assistance for the people in Gaza, and stresses the need to open humanitarian corridors and enable the provision of basic necessities such as water and power.

The PES stands by EU High Representative Borrell and UN Secretary-General Guterres in their work to prevent a spillover of this brutal conflict and to maintain continued political engagement with all parties involved.

Rising antisemitism and islamophobia in Europe and elsewhere is a major concern and the PES condemns this trend and calls for action to combat rising hate and intolerance. 

The PES stresses the need to reach a lasting political solution to this conflict, based on a two-state solution, as mentioned in the PES 2023 Congress resolution. The PES supports the launch of a peace conference as Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez suggested. All efforts must be made to ensure that Israelis and Palestinians both enjoy the right to peace and security, and a right to self-determination. The Palestinian Authority is the key interlocutor in this process. There is an urgent need to restart the peace process to reach a negotiated two-state solution, and a lasting resolution of this conflict that respects the rights of all communities involved.