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MEPs call for immediate end to hostilities in Gaza


14 Jan 2009


Global Europe
EU Priorities 2020

MEPs have co-signed a crucial resolution regarding the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza which is due to be approved tomorrow in Strasbourg. The resolution calls on both sides to respect UN Security Council resolution 1860 that demands an immediate end to the hostilities, the withdrawal of the Israeli troops from Gaza, the sustained re opening of the crossing points, the lifting of the blockade and the prevention of smuggling of illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition.

Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP, (Belgium, Open VLD), Vice-President of Parliament's High level working group on the Middle East  and responsible for negotiating the text on behalf of the Liberal and Democrat Group, commented:

"At such a time of crisis it is important that the EU speaks with one voice, particularly given the current power vacuum in the US administration. To date, there has been too much unilateral and opportunistic intervention from various EU Member States, however good their intentions have been.

"Today we have managed to call on all sides to immediately end hostilities that have already been demanded by the UN Security Council. Israel must realise that it risks alienating those who support its right to live in peace and security. Moreover, Hamas must wake up to the fact that no two-state solution will be achieved if it continues to send rockets into Israeli territory. It is the civilians of Gaza who suffer most by the actions of Hamas."

"There can be no justification for Israel's refusal to allow humanitarian access, aid and international press to the Gaza Strip. No loss of civilian life by either neglect or deliberate action can be tolerated by the International community. It is not for the EU to lecture anyone on conflict resolution, but dialogue, not armed conflict, is the only way to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution."
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