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21 February 2008
Situation in the Gaza Strip: policy of isolation has failed, say MEPs
- 21-02-2008 - 13:00
MEPs believe that the policy of isolation of the Gaza Strip has failed at both political and humanitarian level, according to a resolution adopted by the plenary. MEPs reiterate a call to all parties to fully respect international law, and notably international humanitarian law. The EP reiterates "its deep concern at the humanitarian and political crisis in the Gaza Strip" but also expresses "its deepest sympathy for the civilian population affected by the violence in Gaza and southern Israel".
MEPs believe that the civilian population should be exempt from any military action and any collective punishment. They also call on Israel to fulfil its international obligations, as an occupying power, in the Gaza Strip.
The House reiterates its call for an end to the blockade and for a controlled re-opening of the crossings in and out of Gaza. Israel should ensure the movement of people and goods at Rafah, Karni and other crossings, in compliance with the Agreement on Movement and Access. The resumption of the EU Border Assistance Mission at Rafah is called for.
MEPs call on Israel to cease military actions killing and endangering civilians, and extrajudicial targeted killings. They also call on Hamas, following the illegal takeover of the Gaza Strip, to prevent the firing of rockets by Palestinian militias from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.
Role of Egypt
The House considers that the reaction by Egypt to the disturbances at Rafah, which allowed many Palestinian families to have access to essential goods for their basic needs, to be positive. MEPs also urge the Government of Egypt to continue to play an active role in maintaining peace and stability in the area.
MEPs welcome the proposal by the Palestinian Authority to take control of the crossings, on the basis of an agreement involving Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Corporal Gilad Shalit and imprisoned Palestinians
The House reiterates its call for the immediate release of the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit, which would be perceived as an act of goodwill on the part of Hamas, and of all imprisoned Palestinian former ministers, legislators and mayors.
Humanitarian aid and PEGASE
MEPs call on the Council and the Commission to continue to guarantee, together with the international community, essential humanitarian aid for the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip. MEPs stress the importance of the European Commission's new financing mechanism, known as PEGASE replacing the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM).