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de Brún 'We need to look beyond the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip'

11 October, 2007


The European Parliament today adopted a resolution on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, which has "reached a catastrophic level". Welcoming the resolution Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún called for the full respect of international humanitarian law and human rights, and stressed the "need to look beyond the humanitarian crisis" and to "restrain the repressive actions of the Israeli government".


Speaking from Brussels, Ms de Brún said:


"We know that the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip has reached a catastrophic level. This has been infinitely worse because of the travel restrictions and the inability of NGOs and other agencies to carry out their work. We must make every effort to ensure that international humanitarian law and human rights are fully respected.

"We also need to look beyond the current humanitarian crisis. We should be seeking to restrain the repressive actions of the Israeli government.

"We should be encouraging Palestinians to work together. We should be trying to assist and promote an inclusive dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians

"We should be looking to help support a sustainable economic future for all Palestinians within a viable state.

"We should be looking at the long term social and economic development of Palestine.

"We should be looking at finding ways to ensure that the Council of Ministers cannot in future withdraw and reinstate humanitarian aid as a punitive measure. Humanitarian aid should not be used, as it has been, as a political tool.

"We have to ensure that final-status issues, such as the borders of a future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees, are resolved.

"Let us take the urgent humanitarian measures necessary, but let us not pretend that our work stops then or that this is sufficient." Críoch

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