From Brussels, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced additional aid of 25 million euros intended for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. She also mentioned the establishment of a maritime corridor from Cyprus to transport humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. “Israel has the right to fight Hamas, but it is also essential that it does everything possible to avoid civilian casualties,” stressed Ursula von der Leyen in a speech to European ambassadors.
The European Union (EU) has quadrupled its humanitarian aid for the 2.4 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks, said a spokesperson for the European Commission. Since the war between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the deadly attack of the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7 on Israeli soil, the EU has set up an airlift in favor of the Gaza Strip which has already made it possible, via eight flights to Egypt, the delivery of 65 tons of humanitarian aid, he added.
A “catastrophic” humanitarian situation
The humanitarian situation in Gaza is “catastrophic” and the toll of Palestinian victims is “tragic”, underlined the President of the Commission, stressing that Hamas used civilians as “human shields”. “It’s horrible and it’s pure evil,” she said. The Gaza Strip cannot be a “sanctuary for terrorists”, explained Ursula von der Leyen, adding that previous wars between Israel and Hamas had allowed the latter to reconstitute its forces. “This can no longer be the case,” she said.
Several ideas are under discussion to prevent the return to Gaza of Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the European Union, including that advocating the sending of an “international peace force under a United Nations mandate,” he said. -she emphasized.
Israel carried out intense bombardments on Monday on the besieged Gaza Strip, where the war has left nearly 10,000 dead, according to the Hamas government, in power in the Gaza Strip, in almost a month, while heavy fighting on the ground are raging despite pressing calls for a humanitarian truce.
In Israel, more than 1,400 people were killed, mostly civilians killed on October 7 during the Hamas attack, of violence and on a scale unprecedented since the creation of Israel in 1948.
Blinken also promises an expansion of humanitarian aid
For his part, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised in Turkey this Monday, an extension “in the days to come” of humanitarian aid for the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, besieged by the Israeli army.
“We are working very actively to obtain more humanitarian aid (…) and I think you will see in the days to come that aid can be extended significantly,” declared the head of American diplomacy at the end of a two and a half hour tête-à-tête in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.
Coming with the mission of appeasing the anger of Ankara, a NATO ally which vehemently denounces the Israeli response to the deadly attack perpetrated on October 7 by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Antony Blinken affirmed that “big progress » had been carried out “in recent days” to help civilians.
The secretary of state supported the Israeli position, while trying to assure regional actors that Washington was focused on alleviating the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza. Monday in Ankara, he again affirmed that Washington had asked Israel to “minimize civilian losses”.
This article is originally published on leparisien.fr