Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, June 2010
Foreign Ministers Fail to Condemn Israeli Attack on Freedom Flotilla Ships
EU fails to condemn Israelís attack on Freedom Flotilla convoy
[ 15/06/2010 - 09:44 AM ]
The European Union (EU) failed to adopt a resolution condemning Israel for its deadly attack on the Freedom Flotilla convoy more than two weeks ago and only expressed its deep sorrow at the loss of lives during the military operation.
A statement issued by the EU foreign ministers on Monday in Luxembourg denounced the use of violence in general without holding Israel responsible for killing nine Turkish activists and wounding dozens others including European nationals during the attack.
The statement stressed the need for conducting full and impartial investigation into the events and circumstances that surrounded the incident and demanded international participation in the probe in order to ensure its credibility.
As for the Gaza siege, the statement called for necessarily changing the current policy followed with the Gaza Strip and finding a lasting solution to the humanitarian situation there.
It also underlined that the closure of crossings is unacceptable and politically counterproductive and stressed the importance of implementing the resolution number 1860 issued by the UN Security Council in this regard with taking into account Israelís security concerns.
According to the statement, the EU is ready to contribute to making any arrangements related to the opening of the crossings according to 2005 agreement.
The statement also urged the captors of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him immediately and ignored the Palestinian prisoners in Israelís jails.
For its part, the European campaign to end the siege criticized the statement issued by the EU foreign ministers and described it as weak and disappointing to the worldís free people who were expecting the EU to take action to end the blockade on Gaza.
Spokesman for the European campaign Rami Abdo said in a press release that the statement gave Israel excuses for its blockade on Gaza and did not include a strong position to practically end it.
Abdo deplored the EU for its failure to adopt a resolution condemning the massacre Israel committed against Freedom Flotilla activists, saying that this feeble position would give Israel a green light to commit more crimes.
He also expressed dismay at the EU for demanding the release of Shalit and ignoring the suffering of about 8,000 Palestinians in Israelís prisons.
In a related context, the international coalition for the prosecution of war criminals called on the victims of Israelís attack on Freedom Flotilla convoy or anyone affected by it for necessarily coordinating with the coalition in order to pool the efforts to punish the perpetrators.
The coalition said in a statement that it is proud of all civil forces inside or outside Europe for trying to have arrest warrants issued against Israeli war criminals, but it said it needs all efforts to come together in order to achieve more effective results.
Khudari appeals to EU to demand an end to the siege on Gaza
[ 14/06/2010 - 06:13 PM ]
Chairman of the popular committee against the siege and independent MP, Jamal Al-Khudari, urged the European Union, which congregates in a meeting scheduled for today, to make an urgent resolution to end the siege Israel imposed on Gaza Strip more than three years ago.
He called on the EU in a press release on Monday to take practical steps to put pressure on Israel in order to end the blockade.
Khudari's comments were made only a few hours before the EU foreign ministers held a special meeting in Luxembourg to develop a joint proposal aimed at ending the siege on the densely populated Strip.
Spanish minister of foreign affairs, Miguel Angel Moratinos, announced earlier that the EU council of foreign ministers will try to prepare a joint proposal aimed at breaking the siege on Gaza and ensuring access to humanitarian aid and the transportation of goods and people.
On another note, Khudari welcomed the International Committee of the Red Cross' position on the siege on Gaza, which regards the siege a breach of international law and the four Geneva Conventions.
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