EU/Israel — Quartet Statement on Israel’s Announcement on Gaza

June 21, 2010
The Quar­tet re-affirms that the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Gaza, includ­ing the human­i­tar­i­an and human rights sit­u­a­tion of the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, is unsus­tain­able, unac­cept­able, and not in the inter­ests of any of those con­cerned. The Quar­tet reit­er­ates its call for a solu­tion that address­es Israel’s legit­i­mate secu­ri­ty con­cerns, includ­ing an end to weapons smug­gling into Gaza; pro­motes Pales­tin­ian uni­ty based on the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion com­mit­ments and the reuni­fi­ca­tion of Gaza and the West Bank under the legit­i­mate Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty; and ensures the unim­ped­ed flow of human­i­tar­i­an aid, com­mer­cial goods and per­sons to and from Gaza, con­sis­tent with Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion 1860 (2009). The Quar­tet declares its readi­ness to work close­ly with Israel, the Pales­tin­ian Gov­ern­ment and inter­na­tion­al donors in order to achieve sus­tain­able eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment on the basis of the full imple­men­ta­tion of the Agree­ment on Access and Move­ment of 2005 and in the broad­er per­spec­tive of the two-state solu­tion.

Con­sis­tent with these objec­tives, the Quar­tet and the Quar­tet Rep­re­sen­ta­tive have worked with Israel, as well as con­sult­ing the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty, Egypt, and oth­er con­cerned par­ties, to effect a fun­da­men­tal change in pol­i­cy in Gaza. The new pol­i­cy towards Gaza just announced by the Gov­ern­ment of Israel is a wel­come devel­op­ment. The Quar­tet notes that the elab­o­ra­tion of fur­ther details and modal­i­ties of imple­men­ta­tion will be impor­tant in ensur­ing the effec­tive­ness of the new pol­i­cy. Full and effec­tive imple­men­ta­tion will com­prise a sig­nif­i­cant shift in strat­e­gy towards meet­ing the needs of Gaza’s pop­u­la­tion for human­i­tar­i­an and com­mer­cial goods, civil­ian recon­struc­tion and infra­struc­ture, and legit­i­mate eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty as well as the secu­ri­ty needs of Israel. The Quar­tet will con­tin­ue to work with Israel, the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty, and oth­er con­cerned par­ties to ensure these arrange­ments are imple­ment­ed as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. The Quar­tet affirms that much work remains to achieve ful­ly the solu­tion stat­ed above, and, in con­sul­ta­tion with the con­cerned par­ties, it will mon­i­tor close­ly the imple­men­ta­tion of the pol­i­cy in all its aspects. It will active­ly explore addi­tion­al ways to improve the sit­u­a­tion in Gaza, encour­age involve­ment of the PA at the cross­ings and pro­mote greater com­merce between the West Bank and Gaza.

The Quar­tet stress­es the impor­tance of Unit­ed Nations and oth­er inter­na­tion­al inter­ven­tions, as well as the work of local non-gov­ern­men­tal organ­i­sa­tions, to be expand­ed in Gaza to meet urgent civil­ian needs, and calls on all par­ties to ful­ly enable this work.

The Quar­tet rec­og­nizes that Israel has legit­i­mate secu­ri­ty con­cerns that must con­tin­ue to be safe­guard­ed, and believes efforts to main­tain secu­ri­ty while enabling move­ment and access for Pales­tin­ian peo­ple and goods are crit­i­cal. The Quar­tet com­mits to work with Israel and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to pre­vent the illic­it traf­fick­ing of arms and ammu­ni­tion into Gaza. It urges all those wish­ing to deliv­er goods to do so through estab­lished chan­nels so that their car­go can be inspect­ed and trans­ferred via land cross­ings into Gaza. The Quar­tet empha­sizes that there is no need for unnec­es­sary con­fronta­tions and calls on all par­ties to act respon­si­bly in meet­ing the needs of the peo­ple of Gaza.

The Quar­tet also calls for an end to the deplorable deten­tion of Gilad Shalit in advance of the fourth anniver­sary of his cap­ture on June 25; it fur­ther con­demns the vio­la­tion of Hamas’ inter­na­tion­al oblig­a­tion to pro­vide him access by the Inter­na­tion­al Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross and demands that Hamas imme­di­ate­ly rem­e­dy the sit­u­a­tion.

The Quar­tet also reit­er­ates its sup­port for prox­im­i­ty talks toward the resump­tion, with­out pre­con­di­tions, of direct bilat­er­al nego­ti­a­tions that resolve all final sta­tus issues as pre­vi­ous­ly agreed by the par­ties. The Quar­tet believes these nego­ti­a­tions should lead to a set­tle­ment, nego­ti­at­ed between the par­ties with­in 24 months, that ends the occu­pa­tion which began in 1967 and results in the emer­gence of an inde­pen­dent, demo­c­ra­t­ic, and viable Pales­tin­ian state in the West Bank and Gaza, liv­ing side by side in peace and secu­ri­ty with Israel and its oth­er neigh­bours.

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union