In Brussels, European foreign ministers are meeting their counterparts from Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority.
The talks are aimed at looking at ways of how the European Union can help the people of Gaza rebuild their lives and to examine a path to peace which would extend and enhance the current, fragile ceasefire.
The creation of a more stable security situation is high on the agenda.
The extraordinary talks were convened by the Czech Presidency of the 27 member EU bloc. Czech Foreign Affairs Minister and President-in-Office of the Council said: “What we will try is of course to have a better coordination of the aid for Gaza. That is the main purpose of this meeting. Therefore we are meeting with our friends from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey.”
Egypt has ruled out opening the Rafah crossing in the absence of Palestinian Authority obsevers. The area remains a potential Israeli target due to ongoing smuggling operations.
Palestinians in Gaza say the border tunnels are the only way they can bring enough food and medical aid to the stricken population.
The EU is looking for ways to improve the flow of aid, including an agreement to open Gaza’s border crossings.
Whatever the outcome of the talks, any deal will have to satify Hamas, whose leaders are unlikey to back anything perceived to be to Israel’s benefit.