EU, PNA contact to set plan for ending Gaza blockade: official

20:47, June 07, 2010      

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A Palestinian official revealed Monday that there are contacts between Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the European Union to submit a plan to the international Quartet for ending Gaza blockade.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that a number of European countries, including Spain and Switzerland, are contacting the PNA to discuss the ways possible to lift the blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Israeli forced a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, since Islamic Hamas movement forcefully grabbed hold of the territory in 2007 after routing forces loyal to PNA's President Mahmoud Abbas, leaving the Western-backed leader only in control of the West Bank.

"The PNA is closely following up the issue of Gaza siege with all the parties concerned," the official said, adding that the siege will be on agenda of Abbas when he meets with the U.S. President Barack Obama on June 9.

Abbas is scheduled to visit France and Spain soon to thrash out the European efforts exerted to put an end to the Israeli blockade.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country is holding the EU presidency, said on Saturday the EU will present in the next few days a proposal for lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

According to media reports, the proposal would include the reactivation of the EU monitoring mission at Rafah Crossing with Egypt, which had served there under an agreement between Israel and the PNA since Israel's pullout from Gaza in 2005 till Hamas' takeover of Gaza in 2007.

Moratinos' statements came on the heels of a deadly attack by Israeli commandos on May 31 against an aid flotilla bound for Gaza to challenge the Israeli blockade of the seaside impoverished territory.

The attack claimed the lives of nine campaigners onboard the aid flotilla loaded with relief supplies and construction materials to Gaza.

Source: Xinhua


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