From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Jul 31 2005 - 10:50:57 EDT
EU urges Israel to respect int'l law
Sun, 04 Jan 2009 15:08:46 GMT
The European Commission urges Israel to respect international laws by
permitting access to those who have fallen victim to the Israeli
The commission, the European Union's executive arm, demanded an extra
three million euros (4.2 million dollars) of vital relief for the Gaza
strip as Israel's devastating attacks enter their second week.
Israel's air and ground offensives on the Gaza Strip, launched on Dec.
27, have so far killed 488 Gazans and wounded 2,790 others who largely
comprise of civilians.
"One and a half million people are crammed into an area that is just
over one percent the size of Belgium. They rely on supplies from outside
for their survival and, with every day that passes, their situation
becomes more desperate," Louis Michel, EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner
said in a statement, as AFP reported.
Michel denounced as 'unacceptable' the attacks from either side that
kill or injure civilians indiscriminately. He continued, "Blocking
access to people who are suffering and dying is also a breach of
humanitarian law. I call on the Israeli authorities to respect their
international obligations and ensure a 'humanitarian space' for the
delivery of vital relief."
This is while the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, warned on Sunday
that the wide-ranging ground offensive in the Gaza Strip would be "full
The European Union remains the biggest aid donor to the Palestinians.
European foreign ministers plan to start a Middle East trip on Sunday
where they hope to persuade Israeli and Palestinian leaders to move
towards a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip.
Elsewhere, according to diplomatic sources, the US blocked a UN Security
Council resolution, with US Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff arguing
that an official statement that criticizes both Israel and Hamas would
not be helpful. Two previous UN draft resolutions seeking an end to the
violence in the region were blocked by Washington and the country has so
far vetoed over 40 anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.
The White House has also declined to comment on whether an Israeli
ground incursion into Gaza is a justified measure.
Analysts say that a ground offensive in the densely-populated Gaza is
expected to drastically increase the death toll of the civilian
Despite worldwide condemnation of Israeli attacks and calls for an
immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Israeli military convoys
supported by attack helicopters crossed the borders into Gaza after
nightfall on Saturday, embarking on a ground war in the territory after
Israeli aircraft pounded the impoverished strip for over a week.
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