BRUSSELS, August 7, 2014 (WAFA) – “Many Palestinians are facing an inhuman situation in Gaza today. The international community must take immediate action to alleviate their suffering, with special regard to children and the most vulnerable,” President of the Socialists & Democrats Group of the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, said on Wednesday.
These remarks came as Pittella held talks with the Israeli and Palestinian ambassadors to the EU on Tuesday and Wednesday. “S&D MEPs support EU efforts to respond to the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip,” said the S&D statement.
“I have expressed my condolences to the ambassadors for the loss of innocent civilian lives and my solidarity with the people suffering from the violence and with the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in a desperate situation in the Gaza Strip,” said Pittella.
“The 72-hour truce must be a first step towards a permanent cease-fire and is an opportunity not to be missed.”
He added: “We fully support all initiatives aimed at mobilizing additional EU funding in this regard. At the same time, it must be guaranteed that EU financial assistance is fully used for the benefit of the Palestinian people and can never be used, directly or indirectly, for terrorist activities.”
“There can be no lasting solutions to the situation in Gaza without giving hope to the Palestinians living in the area through the lifting of the blockade,” he stressed.
“In this spirit, we also support the proposal to strengthen the mandate of the EUBAM Rafah (the European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah), which could play an important role in this field,” said Pittella.
“We continue to call for an extraordinary meeting of the European Council to discuss the EU strategy vis-à-vis the current crisis but also the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, with the aim of resuming serious and credible peace talks as soon as possible, and achieving concrete and tangible results in this process leading to the two-state solution.”
“I am going to lead a small delegation of my Group to Jerusalem and Ramallah in early September – I hope that also this visit will give us an opportunity to contribute to all these efforts,” he concluded.