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Blockade of Gaza: it is unblocking according to Cathy Ashton (update)

(BRUSSELS2) This is the feeling expressed on Wednesday by the Union's chief diplomat to European parliamentarians meeting in Strasbourg. “ We need to reopen the borders so that humanitarian aid, goods and civilians can enter and leave Gaza normally. And instead of a restrictive list of products, we must have a short, agreed list of prohibited products where Israel has legitimate security concerns. According to my latest discussions, it seems that we are moving in the direction of these two (topics): borders and lists of goods ". And added that the EU has a mission in Rafah which “ could be reactivated. We are ready to support the opening of other land border points ».

Task force and exploratory mission

Three options are thus offered in terms of European defense missions:
1) recalibrate the Eubam Rafah border surveillance mission, dormant since 2006;
2) open a new mission;
3) prepare a “more complex” maritime mission of the PeSDC, admitted C. Ashton. A task force has thus been created, the first meeting of which will be held this Friday and will be chaired in person by the High Representative. An exploratory mission should also leave quickly to examine how to contribute to a solution.

In Israel, the government cabinet which was to make a decision on the subject postponed its decision. While a new Turkish flotilla is being prepared and two boats chartered in part by the Iranian Red Crescent have taken (or will shortly take) to sea to arrive in Gaza by the Red Sea (if they are not... attacked by the pirates or blocked by multinational forces deployed in the Gulf of Aden).

(UPDATE Thursday June 17) The Israeli government cabinet has decided to reduce the list of products, but limited: food, toys, kitchen utensils, stationery items will be authorized. But not building materials. The government considers that there is
there is a risk of dual use as a weapon. Which is largely below what the Europeans and the international community were asking for.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).