EU — Council conclusions on Gaza

3023rd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing — Lux­em­bourg, 14 June 2010
The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
1. “The EU deeply regrets the loss of life dur­ing the Israeli mil­i­tary oper­a­tion in inter­na­tion­al waters against the Flotil­la sail­ing to Gaza and con­demns the use of vio­lence. The Coun­cil believes that an imme­di­ate, full and impar­tial inquiry into these events and the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing them is essen­tial. To com­mand the con­fi­dence of the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty this should include cred­i­ble inter­na­tion­al par­tic­i­pa­tion.

2. The sit­u­a­tion in Gaza remains unsus­tain­able. The con­tin­ued pol­i­cy of clo­sure is unac­cept­able and polit­i­cal­ly coun­ter­pro­duc­tive. The EU calls for an urgent and fun­da­men­tal change of pol­i­cy lead­ing to a durable solu­tion to the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza. In line with UNSC Res­o­lu­tion 1860, the EU reit­er­ates its call for an imme­di­ate, sus­tained and uncon­di­tion­al open­ing of cross­ings for the flow of human­i­tar­i­an aid, com­mer­cial goods and per­sons to and from Gaza includ­ing goods from the West Bank. The Coun­cil calls for a solu­tion that address­es Israel’s legit­i­mate secu­ri­ty con­cerns includ­ing a com­plete stop to all vio­lence and arms smug­gling into Gaza.

3. The Coun­cil deplores the con­tin­u­ing acts of rock­et fire. All those respon­si­ble must take imme­di­ate and con­crete steps to cease and pre­vent such vio­lence. The Coun­cil calls on those hold­ing the abduct­ed Israeli sol­dier Gilad Shalit to release him with­out delay. Hamas must also uncon­di­tion­al­ly allow ICRC access and end its inter­fer­ence with the oper­a­tions of NGOs and UN agen­cies in Gaza.

4. The EU stands ready to con­tribute to the imple­men­ta­tion of a mech­a­nism based on the 2005 Agree­ment on Move­ment and Access that would per­mit the recon­struc­tion of Gaza and the revival of its econ­o­my. To this end, full and reg­u­lar access via land cross­ings, and pos­si­bly by sea, on the basis of a list of pro­hib­it­ed goods, should be the prime aim, while at the same time pro­vid­ing strict con­trol over the des­ti­na­tion of import­ed mer­chan­dise. To achieve progress on the ground, the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive will con­tin­ue to engage with the Gov­ern­ment of Israel, the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty, Quar­tet mem­bers and oth­er appro­pri­ate par­ties as a mat­ter of urgency and present EU options with a view to the next For­eign Affairs Coun­cil.

5. The Coun­cil recalls its con­clu­sions of Decem­ber 2009. The EU stress­es the para­mount impor­tance that the prox­im­i­ty talks con­tin­ue with a view to the resump­tion of direct nego­ti­a­tions which should lead to a set­tle­ment nego­ti­at­ed between the par­ties with­in 24 months. All efforts to achieve Pales­tin­ian rec­on­cil­i­a­tion behind Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas must be accel­er­at­ed. The Coun­cil acknowl­edges Egypt­ian efforts in this respect.”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union