Hamas welcomes EU proposal to monitor crossings

The Ma’an news agency reports:

Hamas officials have supported a proposed EU plan to monitor Gaza crossings and life the Israeli-lead siege on the coastal enclave, statements issued Sunday indicated.

Hamas leader Salah Al-Bardawil called statements by Spanish Minster of Foreign Affairs Miguel Ángel Moratinos, whose country currently holds the head of the rotating EU parliament, said the movement would welcome a European presence at all Gaza border crossings.

“We spoke with the team of the chief (foreign) representative yesterday and we are going to make a proposal over the next few days so that situations like the ones that happened (this week) will not be repeated,” Moratinos told Agence-France Presse on Saturday, referring to the Israeli attack on a Turkish aid ship carrying nationals from around the globe that killed at least nine.

The ship was carrying 10,000 tons of aid, including cement, books, prefabricated houses and medical equipment in an attempt to break Israel’s sea blockade of Gaza, from which it says it unilaterally withdrew in 2005.

The plan reportedly includes the activation of the EU monitoring committee at Rafah, and developing similar initiatives at at least three other crossings as well as assisting in sea patrols so that the Gaza Port could open.

“Hamas welcomes this proposal in all its aspects,” Al-Bardawil said, saying first that the party “does not mind at all” EU or international presence at Rafah, and reaffirmed the party’s refusal to accept Israeli policing in the south.

“Secondly, Israel should not obstruct any convoys or ships coming to the Gaza port,” the official said, reiterating the importance of having a “seaport that links Gaza with the world.”

As for the details, Al-Bardawil said, they need to “be studied by the Palestinian government so a consensus can be reached” on what is acceptable in terms of having international patrols in Gaza waters.

Breaking the siege on Gaza, the official said, would “contribute to the building of a modern seaport in Gaza,” which he described as an essential ingredient to the revitalization of all of Gaza.

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2 thoughts on “Hamas welcomes EU proposal to monitor crossings

  1. Ian Arbuckle

    EU to propose lifting Israeli blockade of Gaza: Spain


    “The European Union will present in the coming days a proposal for lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza, following a deadly raid this week on aid ships bound for the Palestinian territory, Spain’s foreign minister said on Saturday.
    Miguel Angel Moratinos, with Spain currently holding the rotating EU presidency, said he had spoken with the office of the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.”

    So here is what I think is going to happen and what Europe is now planning.

    The European Union, and its 28 nations are about to pass resolutions to recognise the state of Palestine. At the moment there are efforts to establish a unity government, so as not to have to separately deal with the Hamas government of Gaza. They will be joined by the states of the Arab League, and many others.

    The border of the state of Palestine will be the internationally accepted borders, namely those that were established as the borders of Israel as apposed to occupied territories in ’67, covering the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. Some exchange alterations will be negotiated both states in good faith to take account of logistical realities.

    Never the less Turkeys plan of bringing in aid to Gaza directly by sea and supporting it with a naval convoy, can be shelved for the moment, because unrestricted humanitarian aid and commercial goods will enter either from Jordan to the West Bank or through the Rafah crossing in Egypt to Gaza. The monitoring of goods will be taken over by the EU.

    The port of Gaza will be reopened too, in due course, and the waters and economic zone will be patrolled by EU vessels under NATO command under UN mandate.

    In this way the blockade will be broken, Palestine will be a free country, and Israel will have no threat to its security. However some Israeli citizens may or may not wish to relocate from Palestinian to Israeli territory and visa versa.

    I don’t think Israel will go to war with NATO, but if it does it will loose.

  2. Christopher Hoare

    A good sign of progress. The need for neutral parties to inspect not just crossings but most aspects of Israeli/Palestinian interaction are a necessary requirement for peace in the region.

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