The EU has urged divided Palestinian groups to unite so that vital humanitarian aid can reach the people of war torn Gaza.
The bloc’s 27 foreign ministers called on Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to forge a unity government and pursue reconciliation in order find a lasting peace. Meeting in Brussels with Arab counterparts, EU ministers also demanded more be done to prevent Hamas smuggling weapons into the Gaza strip. “We have been seeking reassurance that the ceasefire will be maintained, that efforts to stop arms smuggling will be stepped up, crossings to Gaza should be open on a regular and predictable basis, and that a speedy return to negotiations will follow. We all agree too that a two-state solution remains the ultimate aim of all our efforts,’‘ said Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. Israel, which ended its 22 day offensive on Gaza last week, refuses to open borders until Hamas stops smuggling. Palestinians claim the border tunnels are the only way vital food and medical supplies can reach the territory.