News from Berlin

Germany Backs Joint Gaza Truce

August 11th, 2014

News from Berlin - Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier along with his French and British Counterparts, Laurent Fabius and Philip Hammond respectively, gave a statement fully supporting the ongoing efforts of Egypt in mediating a cease-fire in Gaza. They also offered to restore an EU presence at the Rafah checkpoint. Until its closure, it was a crucial border crossing for Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants during the peace talks in Egypt.

According to the statement, "All parties should take immediate practical steps to address the urgent humanitarian needs including to facilitate full humanitarian access. To be sustainable, a ceasefire must envisage steps to address both Israeli security concerns and Palestinian requirements regarding the lifting of restrictions on Gaza. The final objective must be to see a return to talks on a negotiated two-state solution, which remains the only way to resolve the conflict and end the human suffering it causes once and for all."

News of a possible EU mission to the Gaza-Egyptian border, supported by all sides in the region, attracted broad support from all political camps in Germany yesterday. Germany has also provided an additional €8.5 million ($11.5 million) in humanitarian aid for Gaza to ease the civilians’ increasing suffering amid the Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians. This sum of money will be channeled through the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide food and health services to civilian population amid the escalation of violence.

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