Friday

16th Nov 2018

Letter

EU-Gaza mission not on the beach

  • War damage in Gaza (Photo: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi)

Your article 'EU-Gaza mission on the beach' contains inaccuracies and is far from reflecting the reality on the ground.

You say that "the Israeli had final say on which Palestinians were allowed to enter and which were not". This is entirely false. During the overall deployment of the mission, the Israeli authorities have not prevented any crossing of passengers neither by the use of cameras at the Rafah crossing point nor by requesting the Palestinians to detain passengers or "stop bags". The Palestinian authorities and the population of Gaza have always expressed their appreciation of the mission's work.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

You say that colonel Alain Faugeras, the head of Eubam-Rafah Mission, "currently resides at the beach resort of Dan Gardens". On the contrary, one of his first purposes when he was appointed in November 2008 was in fact to move the Eubam-Rafah Headquarters from the Dan Gardens Hotel in Ashkelon to another location in Ashkelon. This was done in May 2009, two and a half years ago. Colonel Faugeras himself never lived in the Dan Gardens Hotel and rents an apartment near the Eubam HQ as every other mission member.

On 26 May 2011, the Council of the EU extended the mandate of the Eubam-Rafah Mission until 31 December 2011, as it has done several times in the past, in order to maintain an operational capability in the region. The EU has consistently insisted on the need for a full implementation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. As third party mission, Eubam-Rafah is still present because it is invited to do so by the parties (Israel and the Palestinian Authority). The European Union has constantly tried to reduce the cost of the Eubam-Rafah presence either by downsizing the mission or reducing the cost of its HQ.

The EU is currently assessing the implications of the opening of the Rafah Crossing Point on a permanent basis last May, and following closely the implementation of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement in this regard. So far, none of the stakeholders has formally requested the EU to reactivate Eubam-Rafah, but Eubam-Rafah has a redeployment plan to increase rapidly the strength of the mission in case the political and security conditions would allow.

Michael Mann is a spokesperson for High Representative/Vice President Catherine Ashton

EU-Gaza mission on the beach

The EU border crossing mission to Gaza risks becoming another symbol of waste and missed opportunity in the region.

US steps in to clean up Cyprus

Cyprus has overlooked undertakings on bank probity made to the EU in the context of the 2013 bailout - but it might prove harder to get the US off its back.

Macron's 'European army': why is everyone talking about it?

Few people commented on one key point in Macron's statement: he did not justify the idea of a European army by the need to intervene in Africa, which would have been France's traditional approach. Instead, he invoked the Russian threat,

EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name

Sergei Magnitsky gave his life to fighting corruption. The least we can do is to honour his sacrifice in the name of the legislation that his heroism inspired.

All Quiet on the Eastern Front?

Russia is trying to foment a clash between Hungary and Ukraine over the territory of Zakarpattia in a potential crisis overlooked by EU leaders.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Why 'Spitzenkandidat' is probably here to stay

The power of the parliament to 'appoint' the president of the EU Commission is new, highly-contested - and not universally understood. In fact, even some of the lead candidates to replace Jean-Claude Juncker are against it.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us