End Blockade of Gaza, EU Tells Israel

The European Union has called on Israel to immediately end the three-year blockade of Gaza and to allow the Freedom Flotilla to enter the enclave.

"The continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement on Friday.

"We would like to reiterate the EU’s call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza," she added.

The Freedom Flotilla, a multinational relief mission heading for the Gaza Strip, consists of nine vessels from Turkey, Ireland, Britain, and Greece that are currently off the coast of Cyprus.

The mission was organized by the Free Gaza Movement.

Ashton made the remarks after Israel threatened to divert the flotilla to its southern port of Ashdod and to detain the activists onboard, AFP reported.

Israel has said it will not allow the ships to reach the Gaza Strip and has called the attempt to break the blockade a "cheap political stunt."

On Thursday, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky also urged Israel to "act with a sense of care" in dealing with the pro-Palestinian activists who are attempting to break the blockade of Gaza.

The Freedom Flotilla is carrying about 10,000 tons of supplies to the 1.5 million people of Gaza, who have endured many hardships during the three-year blockade.

(Press TV)

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