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EU must act against Israel's refusal to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza

13 November, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

For immediate release: 13th November 2008


Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brún has today called for the EU to act swiftly and decisively on the Israeli refusal to allow 30 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Israel is using the pretext of rocket attacks emanating from Gaza in order to shut down all transfers of good or resources into and out of the Gaza strip. So far over the past number of days we have seen the power station running out of fuel, EU diplomats and journalists being denied entry and now 30 trucks of aid have been refused entry.

"This aid is destined for relief agencies and people on the ground. Effectively Israel is imposing collective punishment on the 1.5 million people of Gaza.

"UN relief agencies have warned that they will not have sufficient food within the distribution centres to cope with demand. The Israeli government must not block humanitarian aid whatever the conflict situation.

"The EU can exert influence over the actions of the Israeli government. There is currently in effect a trade agreement between the EU and Israel which is dependent on Israel's respect for human rights. Israel is once again in breach of this agreement yet the EU still retain the trade agreement.

"This situation cannot be allowed to continue. Israel must allow all forms of humanitarian aid into Gaza and the EU must use whatever influence it has to end this deplorable situation. This includes suspending the preferential trade agreement if the Israeli government refuses to respect basic human rights. "

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