EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called for the further easing of Israel’s four-year blockade of the Gaza Strip during a visit to the impoverished coastal sliver.
Ashton, after meeting some Palestinian and Israeli officials on Sunday, visited the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) school and summer camp.
She said that EU’s position is very clear. “We want people to be able to move freely and goods not only to arrive in, but also to be exported from Gaza.”
Ashton elsewhere said the European Union on Sunday agreed to an additional two million euros to support the largest ever youth initiative in Gaza and to support UNRWA’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) — a crucial tool to modernize the Agency.
She said that the Union is to make sure that this work will continue to help Gaza children have a brighter future.
The people in Gaza must be allowed to run their own businesses, to grow their own economy and in that sense to be able to offer a future to their children.
It is not simply a matter of letting in aid — it is a matter of revitalizing the local economy with private sector development and commercial activity, including exports, she said.