Raphael Ahren reports at Times of Israel that the European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that denounces Hamas as a terrorist group that uses human shields, calls for Israel’s destruction and “seems to aim at escalating tensions” at the Gaza-Israel border. The motion also calls for the release of Israeli citizens and the bodies of fallen soldiers held by Hamas in Gaza. The carefully balanced text also backs calls for probes into Israel’s use of live ammunition to fend off protesters at the border.
The European Parliament in Brussels also adopted legislation preventing the transfer of funds from the EU’s PEGASE aid mechanism to the Palestinian Authority if those funds are to be used for education to hatred. Classes and instruction programs funded using EU funds must reflect shared values such as peace, liberty, tolerance and non-discrimination.
Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Rajaei Haddad, who spent two decades in prison for his role in the November 1997 murder of yeshiva student Gacriel Hirschberg in the Old City of Yerushalayim. The meeting was broadcast on PA TV immediately upon his release.