Israel Failed to Deliver on Easing of Gaza Blockade,
Says Catherine Ashton
E.U. Slams Israel's Ongoing Siege on Gaza
Tuesday November 23, 2010 10:42 by Alessandra Bajec - IMEMC &
European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, lashed out at
Israel for failing to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Ashton stated that despite Israeli vows to the International community,
the Gaza Strip remains under strict siege and closure.
Israel vowed to loosen its siege on the coastal enclave in response to
the international outcry after its commandos killed, on May 31, nine
Turkish activists who were trying to deliver humanitarian aid to the
people of Gaza.
"Gaza remains a source of great concern for
me...at the present time, we think that what's is happening is
unsatisfactory, the volume of goods allowed into Gaza is not increasing
to the urgently needed level," Ashton stated while speaking on behalf of
all EU Foreign Ministers.
Ashton also urged Israel to allow
exports out of Gaza and to allow construction materials into the coastal
region, and added that the United Nations Refugees & Works Agency
(UNRWA) needs construction materials to rebuild schools, bombarded by
Israel during the war. She pointed out that the economy needs to be
allowed to recover, and the people must be allowed to invest in their
The EU's top foreign policy official also voiced concern
over the failure of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, especially after
the settlement freeze expired in September, and Israel presented new
plans for massive settlement construction and expansion in the occupied
EU: Israel failed to deliver on easing of Gaza blockade
Published yesterday (updated) 23/11/2010 14:46
BRUSSELS (DPA) --
Israel has failed to live up to its commitments on easing the
blockade on the Gaza strip, the European Union's foreign policy chief
Catherine Ashton said Monday.
Israel pledged to loosen its grip
on the Palestinian enclave in June, reacting to the international outcry
caused by its at-sea shooting in late May of nine Turkish activists, who
were trying to break the blockade.
But five months on, Ashton
said there were not enough goods flowing in to meet the humanitarian and
reconstruction needs of the territory, which is ruled by Hamas, the
radical group classed as a terrorist organization by the EU and the
"Gaza remains a source of great concern for me ...
at the present time, we think that what's happened with Gaza is
unsatisfactory, the volume of goods is not increasingly as significantly
as it needs to," she said, speaking on behalf of all EU foreign
She also urged Israel to allow exports out of Gaza and
to let in construction material that the local United Nations agency
(UNRWA) wants to use to rebuild schools.
"It is absolutely
essential that the economy is allowed to recover and that people are
allowed to invest in their futures," Ashton pointed out.
top foreign policy official spoke as Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
remained in limbo, following the expiry in September of an Israeli
freeze on new settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land in the
West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"Not surprisingly there is a lot of
concern with the current lack of progress and with the ongoing
settlement activities," Ashton commented.
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