Ashton to visit impoverished Gaza soon

Ashton to visit impoverished Gaza soon

BRUSSELS, The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Catherine Ashton said she intends to visit the besieged Gaza Strip in the coming days ahead of the intended visit which some European ministers wants to make by the end of this month.

Ashton pointed out in a press statement that her visit is aimed to check on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, especially after the recent developments, and stressed the need for facilitating the entry of all materials necessary for the reconstruction of Gaza.

The European official, who already visited Gaza four months ago, added that the EU would study and examine the lists of items declared by Israel and would support the efforts to reopen Gaza crossings.

For its part, the Palestinian center for human rights stated that the two lists related to the goods that are banned or permitted into Gaza would legitimatize the Israeli blockade.

The center in a statement on Wednesday called for lifting the siege immediately and open the crossings unconditionally.

It noted that the last Israeli decision to alleviate the siege through allowing the flow of more commercial goods and humanitarian needs into Gaza was intended only for easing the mounting international pressures.