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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Commission
15 June 2007

Following the latest events in the Gaza Strip, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, has said:

"We are alarmed by the ferocity of the recent clashes in Gaza. The sharp deterioration of the living conditions in Gaza, combined with the lack of a political or economic perspective, has contributed to a widespread feeling of despair. That is a contributory factor in the development of extremism and violence.

The population has already suffered for far too long. I support the call of President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh for an immediate end to this violence. I encourage all groups to resolve their differences via dialogue not violence.

Since the formation of the national unity government in March 2007 we have stepped up our assistance to the Palestinians. Now is not the time to give up on national unity, both in the government and in the security sector. I call on both Hamas and Fatah to invest all their energy in this coalition. "

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner on the current developments in the Palestine Territory:

"I remain extremely concerned especially about the situation in Gaza. The violence has to stop.

We are analysing the situation after the decision of President Mahmud Abbas to dissolve the government and to declare the state of emergency. I will discuss the matter with other Quartet members during the course of the day.

I urge all parties to restrain from violence and to spare civilians. I call on President Abbas, the legitimate President of all Palestinians, to make his utmost to resolve the situation through dialogue and to work towards national unity and reconciliation.

And as we said in the past, we will not let the Palestinians down. We aim to continue our humanitarian assistance which is provided either through the TIM or through the direct delivery of food, water and medicine to both the West Bank and Gaza."

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