EU Offers Support to Reunite Gaza Strip and West Bank

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and PA's Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: WAFA, file)

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday that the EU is ready to help the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to reunite under “one single and legitimate Palestinian Authority.” Mogherini made her comment after the main Palestinian factions – Fatah and Hamas – announced an agreement ending the 11-year-old political division.

“The agreement signed by Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 12 October can become an important step towards a full return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, and for making genuine progress on intra-Palestinian reconciliation,” explained the EU official, noting that the union “will closely study” details of the agreement.

“We welcome the continuing engagement of Egypt, and we expect all Palestinian factions to move forward in good faith in further process, in order to enable the legitimate Palestinian Authority to resume full control in Gaza,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mogherini stressed that it “is essential that the agreement delivers on the ground and that the situation of the people of Gaza is improved as a matter of urgency.”

She reiterated that having Gaza and the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We will continue to liaise with Egypt, our interlocutors on the ground and our international partners, including in the Quartet, in order to help this process to succeed,” Mogherini concluded.

On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the continuing need to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza urgently, particularly with regard to the electricity crisis, and improved access to and from the territory.

He reiterated that the UN “stands ready to continue working with the Palestinian authorities and the region in support of the Government in assuming its responsibilities in Gaza.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Medical)

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