A European Union official called on Tuesday for the lifting of a crippling Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip which has been in place for fifteen years, also saying that a unified Palestinian government should be formed in order for the reconstruction of the besieged territory to begin.
“These steps are not European Union conditions to the reconstruction [of Gaza], but a logical path to start this process,” Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, the European Union representative for the Palestinian territories said, according to the Anadolu news agency.
Visiting Gaza, EU Rep Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff witnessed the hardship experienced by families &the damages caused to homes,businesses & infrastructure as a result of the latest military confrontation.Gazans are in need of immediate support,full humanitarian access must be ensured pic.twitter.com/ll5H3DmMM8
— EU and Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) June 2, 2021
He added that “democratic elections” should be held and praised Egyptian efforts to shore up a recent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza following a deadly Israeli assault on the territory which left 254 Palestinians dead and hundreds more injured.
Von Burgsdorff visited areas of Gaza hit by Israeli airstrikes and met representatives of civil society groups on his trip to the besieged territory, Anadolu reported.
A UN delegation, headed by Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process is also in Gaza and will meet with Hamas leaders.
#Palestine | European Union Representative to Palestine Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff called on Israel to end the blockade, which has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for 15 years, to facilitate the process of reconstruction of the city.https://t.co/I5ydmKZHlB
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) June 1, 2021
Egypt has promised $500 million for the reconstruction of Gaza and its intelligence chief recently visited the territory for talks with Hamas leaders, while on Sunday Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi visited Cairo.
The 15-year Israeli blockade has had a devastating effect on Gaza’s population, causing shortages of essential goods and plunging tens of thousands of people into poverty and unemployment.
Many of the Gaza Strip’s residential areas have also been severely damaged by Israel’s repeated wars against the territory.
(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)