Wednesday

23rd Sep 2020

Report: EU countries set out new vision for Gaza

  • Gaza-Egypt border crossing: the EU wants Israel to end its seven-year blockade (Photo: EUobserver)

France, Germany, and the UK have circulated a draft UN resolution on the Gaza conflict designed to end the rule of Hamas in return for Israel lifting its seven-year blockade of the Strip.

The text, entitled “Elements”, was circulated in New York earlier this week and leaked on Thursday (21 August) to Israeli daily Haaretz.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

According to the newspaper, the resolution calls for Hamas, a militant group which advocates armed resistance against Israel, to hand over power to the Palestinian Authority, which is prepared to recognise Israel in return for the creation of a Palestinian state.

It also calls for Israel to lift its “economic and humanitarian restrictions” on access to Gaza and to reopen all Gaza crossing points.

It says a new international mission would supervise reconstruction of damaged buildings and infrastructure, the free movement of goods and people, help build up the PA's administrative resources and security forces in the Strip, prevent militants from rearming, and “ensure effective communications” between the new Gaza authorities and Israel.

The resolution condemns “all violence and hostilities directed against civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties, and all acts of terrorism.”

It also says there should be “renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to resume the negotiations in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders in peace and security”.

The initiative comes after ceasefire talks between Hamas and Israeli representatives in Cairo collapsed on Tuesday, leading to renewed fighting.

But a diplomat with knowledge of the Cairo process told EUobserver the “Elements” text is based on the “same content as the Cairo negotiations”.

“This [the UN initiative] cannot replace the negotiations. So even if the [UN] Security Council adopts this, but the two parties are not willing to implement it, it has little value, because they will not do so due to some new international coercion”.

The latest Gaza conflict erupted in early June. Israel says Hamas started it by firing rockets, but Hamas says Israel started it by arresting hundreds of its people in the West Bank in an attempt to destroy a new unity government between rival Palestinian political factions.

According to Gaza authorities, Israeli bombardments of Gaza and a brief ground incursion have killed over 2,000 Palestinians, more than 70 percent of whom are civilians and more than 450 of whom are children.

Hamas rocket fire has killed 64 Israeli soldiers, two Israeli civilians and one Thai-national civilian in Israel.

An Israeli air strike on Thursday also killed three senior Hamas commanders, while a strike on Wednesday killed the wife and two children of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif, auguring further escalation of the conflict.

EU defends Israel's Gaza incursion

EU countries have defended Israel’s use of force in Gaza, but blamed it for harming peace prospects in the longer term.

Opinion

Gaza: ‘Burning the consciousness’

Giving defensive names to Israeli military operations does not hide their offensive nature. The only way to end the cycle of violence is to end the occupation.

Belarus opposition leader urges EU to be 'braver'

The Belarus oppositon leader asked the EU not to support the Belarus authorities financially, and not to recognise Lukashenko as the country's president when his term ends in November.

News in Brief

  1. US corona death toll passes 200,000
  2. Greece and Turkey agree to resume talks in Istanbul
  3. Seven countries found MidEast energy forum, without Turkey
  4. Four more states join EU medical strategic stockpile
  5. Malta police arrest chief of staff of ex-PM
  6. EP pushing for effective rule-of-law mechanism
  7. France opposes return EU deficit rules after corona
  8. Special EU summit postponed as Charles Michel quarantines

Feature

The Hagia Sophia and the global battle of symbols

The Turkish president's decision to restart Islamic worship services in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia last Friday is not innocent. So how should we react? By doing the opposite - and make Cordoba's famous Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba a museum.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. EU countries stuck on rule of law-budget link
  2. EU states struggle to better sync Covid-19 measures
  3. EP groups drop homophobe from Sakharov prize
  4. Legal complaint filed with EU Commission over migration
  5. Coronavirus: Will a second wave divide Europe again?
  6. Coronavirus: the Swedish model was worth emulating
  7. Time to fix Europe's broken migration and asylum system
  8. Covid-19: How is Eastern Europe bracing for a second wave?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us