EU leaders have vowed to do everything in their power to contribute to a lasting and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.
European leaders have been in the Middle East to help shore up the fragile peace. Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire late Saturday with Hamas following suit just hours later. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said arms must be prevented from getting into the hands of Hamas: “We recognise that this ceasefire must mean that actions are taken against arms smuggling and arms trafficking. And we have written to you, Mr. Prime-Minister (Olmert) to say that we will do everything to help stop the supply of arms by land and by sea.” The civilian death toll and destruction in the Gaza Strip has led to calls for Israel to face war crimes charges. After three weeks of Israeli bombardment the humanitarian situation inside Gaza is desperate. The Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, called for the border crossings to be open to allow in aid and change behaviour. “The smuggling was caused by the strangulation of the people of Gaza. All they are doing is trying to obtain anything by any means possible. So stopping the smuggling must be linked to opening the crossing points and ending the blockade.” Israel claims that if the ceasefire holds the borders will be opened to allow in much needed food, water and medicine. Reports on the ground suggest that many hope the guns will stay silent, but no one, on either side of the border, will be surprised if the conflict starts up again.