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The European Parliament calls for change in Gaza

Vice President of he European Parliament

Brussels 11th October 2007,

In a resolution voted today in the Parliament, MEPs, called on Israeli Government for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and to fulfill its international obligations under the Geneva Conventions to guarantee the flow of humanitarian aid, humanitarian assistance and essential services, such as electricity and fuel. Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament, who was in the Parliamentary delegation in Gaza Strip, on her speech stressed the need to lift the embargo on people and goods and the end of the military occupation.

“I was recently in Gaza- Luisa Morgantini declared- and I saw how the Strip is suffocating in a serious humanitarian crisis due to the raids and the closure imposed by the Israeli Army: massive devastation of public facilities and private homes, the disruption of hospitals, clinics and schools, the denial of access to proper drinking water, food and electricity, and the destruction of agricultural land wanted by Israel create a true catastrophe for civilians. Furthermore, the blockade on the movement paralyzes the economy and contributes to an extremely high rate of unemployment, while the health system is under severe pressure, a significant proportion of the population is suffering from a lack of urgently needed treatment and medicines and many NGOs and humanitarian organisations are obstructed by the lack of freedom of movement and of resources.

European Union has to demand with force to the Israeli Government that human rights and International law must be fully respected in the whole area, ending the continued emergency of Gaza Strip but also the military occupation in West Bank, where the robbery of Palestinian lands continues without any condemnation and, in spite of the meeting between Olmert and Abbas, the Israelis change the situation on the ground which casts serious doubts if they want peace or just gaining time to grab more land: it is an example the recent decision by the IDF to expropriate 272 acres of land from four Arab villages in order to build, as declared by Israeli Authorities, a new Palestinian road that would connect East Jerusalem with Jericho. But this decision would free up the existing E1 area between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adunim, allowing the construction of a new Jewish settlement consisting of 3,500 apartments and an industrial park, blocked by an international protest since 2004, that showed the risk of the cutting of the West Bank in two, separating East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. This unilateral and illegal policy by Israeli Authorities must immediately end.

EU must to face up to its full responsibility on the respect of the legality, first through implementation of the existent EU-Israel Agreements on Movement and Access, but also imposing Israel to respect the International law concerning human rights, to end the military occupation in West Bank and the closure of the Gaza Strip and of the WB: even if there is an humanitarian tragedy, its solution is political.

This is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace and to give more credibility to the International Peace Conference in November, reinforcing the negotiations based on the UN resolutions and on the right of Palestinians and Israelis to live in two States, in peace and security”.