In These New Times

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European Parliament condemns Israeli attack, illegal siege on Gaza strip

Posted by seumasach on June 18, 2010

Today’s Zaman

19th June, 2010

The European Parliament in its vote on Thursday condemned a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla heading for Gaza and a blockade imposed on that territory by the Jewish state. The resolution condemns Israel for its military operation on the Gaza-bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid. Israeli commandos shot dead eight Turkish activists and an American on board the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship on May 31.

The resolution was approved in a roll-call vote, with 470 votes in favor, 56 against and 56 abstentions. The resolution, drafted jointly by political groups in the EP, says the Israeli attack was a breach of international law. It calls for a prompt international and impartial inquiry into the raid and asks European countries to raise this demand.

It urges Israel to lift immediately its illegal blockade on Gaza and asks EU countries to raise this demand, urging the EU Member States to take steps to ensure the sustainable opening of all the crossing points to and from Gaza. At the same time, Member of European Parliaments called on EU High Representative Catherine Ashton to submit an EU plan to the Quartet to help end the blockade.

To address Israel’s security concerns, MEPs proposes international monitoring of the crossings, including the re-activation of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EU-BAM). Parliament calls on Hamas to stop all attacks against Israel immediately, and also to free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli sergeant kidnapped by Hamas in 2006 and held incommunicado ever since. It also points out the need for more financial and economic assistance to Palestine. Noting that recent developments caused serious damage in Turkish-Israeli relations, the resolution says European Parliament encourages Turkish government’s diplomatic and political efforts for taking the pressure off Palestinian people and for the Middle East peace process.

The EU also previously condemned the attack with a strongly-worded statement. Many leaders of European countries also expressed their condemnation against Israel for its reckless attack to Gaza-bound aid flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gazans with an aim to break years-long blockade. Israel agreed on Thursday to ease its land blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, hoping to quell growing worldwide outrage following a deadly raid on an international flotilla bound for the Palestinian territory.

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