Among the Palestinian public, attitudes to the European Union can be characterised as very positive, Nidal Foqaha of the Palestinian Peace Coalition, director-general of the Geneva Initiative for Palestine, told EurActiv Slovakia in an interview.
"The EU has to restructure its failed strategy [in Gaza] and seek to bring the new US administration to a similar re-appraisal and policy change," argue Michael Emerson and Richard Youngs, associate senior research fellows at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and Natalie Tocci, senior research fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, in a January CEPS report.
The news that Israeli-Palestinian talks are to resume should not lead to over-expectations as to their outcome, warns Shlomo Avineri, director-general of Israel's Foreign Ministry under Yitzhak Rabin's first cabinet and professor of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Few issues polarise public opinion more than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whether it's Europe, or the United States, the problem is the same. One of the main reasons why is the ongoing crisis of what to do with the descendants of the 700,000 plus refugees, created by the first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948. Spread around the world, their numbers today exceed 5 million.
EU foreign ministers are to thrash out positions on increasingly thorny problems in the Middle East when they meet today (19 November), but diplomats said the bloc would likely not follow France in giving full recognition to the Syrian opposition.
The 193-nation UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved the de-facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine. Fourteen EU countries voted in favour, 12 abstained and only the Czech Republic joined the United States and Israel in opposing the move.
Germany, France and Britain have proposed reactivating a European Union mission on the Egypt-Gaza border to help stabilise the Palestinian enclave after a month-long war, a German diplomatic source said on Wednesday.
SPECIAL REPORT: European frustration with the glacial pace of moves to Palestinian statehood could lead to the bloc’s aid contributions to the region becoming unsustainable in as little as 3-4 years, officials say.
Plans for new settlements in East Jerusalem pose a threat to peace and Israel's relations with the European Union, the 28-member bloc said on Friday, joining the United States in its criticism of the decision.
The European Union congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his election victory Wednesday (18 March), but added it was committed to relaunching the Middle East peace process, which he appeared to repudiate during the campaign.