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27 September 2007
Conference of Presidents dismayed by humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip
- 27-09-2007 - 17:32
The Conference of Presidents today deplored the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. A delegation of Development Committee MEPs just back from Gaza voiced its shock at the conditions of the civilian population there. As a result, the Conference of Presidents decided to add a debate to the agenda of the next mini-plenary in Brussels, so that the Parliament can express its view on this matter in a resolution, after statements by the Council and Commission.
The Development Committee delegation report to the Conference of Presidents explained the deteriorating humanitarian conditions on the ground in the Gaza Strip. The Conference was informed about serious declines in health indicators, such as increased rates of malnutrition and chronic diseases. It was also briefed on the difficulties caused by the closure of border crossings, which have severely interrupted economic activity and the free movement of goods, as well as hampering international humanitarian organisations in their work. In addition, basic services such as sewage disposal, rubbish collection and clean water are completely disrupted or under heavy strain.
Taking note of the delegation's shock at the state of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip, the Conference of Presidents decided to respond to this urgent matter by scheduling a debate with Commission and Council, to be followed by the adoption of a resolution. This debate will take place during the next plenary session of Parliament, to be held in Brussels on 10-11 October. The resolution will aim at making recommendations to Council and Commission as to the strategy and next steps in implementing EU policy towards this humanitarian emergency.
The Chairpersons of the political groups also expressed the view that, in the meantime, immediate action is needed by the Commission and the Council in order to alleviate the suffering of the population in Gaza.