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EU pledges support for Gaza

November 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the European fold was always ready to offer support to Gaza

The European Union on Saturday pledged to offer support to the Gaza Strip and help expedite the reconstruction of the Palestinian territory, following the latest Israeli offensive on it.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said the European fold was always ready to offer support to Gaza.

During a press conference in the embattled strip alongside Pierre Krahenbuhl, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Mogherini added that her current first visit to the Gaza Strip had both political and humanitarian objectives.

She said she was in Gaza to check post-war destruction, noting that she was also in the blockaded enclave as a “mother”, not just a minister.

Mogherini called for changing the conditions of Gaza, saying the Palestinian territory needed a “lung to breathe.”

She said she and her colleagues in the EU worked hard to speed up the reconstruction of Gaza, noting that they would do everything possible to help Gaza’s children who were born at refugee centers in schools and also help displaced Gazans go back to their homes.

More than 100,000 people are displaced across the Gaza Strip, including 50,000 who live in UNRWA facilities, according to United Nations figures.

Apart from killing more than 2,157 people and injuring more than 11,000 others, the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip left 9,000 Palestinian homes in total ruin and 8,000 others in partial ruin, according to the Palestinian Housing and Works Ministry.

The offensive, which started in early July, came to an end on August 26 after Palestinian factions signed a cease-fire with Israel.

Mogherini said the only way the suffering of the people of the Gaza Strip could be brought to an end was for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to be ended and a Palestinian state be established to live in peace side by side with the state of Israel.

She called for helping the Palestinian national unity government to work in Gaza and speeding up reconstruction efforts there.

Images from Federica Mogherini’s visit to a UNRWA school in Gaza, by MEMO photographer Mohammed Asad