Amnesty International spoort de EU-ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken aan om er bij Israël op aan te dringen een einde te maken aan de aanvallen gericht op burgers of gebouwen van burgers in Gaza, een halt toe te roepen aan disproportionele aanvallen én om dringende humanitaire hulp in de regio toe te laten.
In a letter sent to the EU Troika upon its return from the Middle East (available at www.amnesty-eu.org) Amnesty International expressed particular concern about the EU's failure, so far, to play a decisive role at the United Nations Security Council. The organization urged the EU to work proactively with all Security Council members so that a humanitarian truce is implemented without delay.
"There are 1.5 million people effectively trapped in the Gaza Strip, in the midst of a humanitarian disaster. EU member states need to put their differences aside and send a strong signal to both parties" said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International's EU Office.
"To show that it means business, the EU should put on hold discussions on the upgrade of relations with Israel and work on getting concrete commitments from Israel to end the humanitarian catastrophe" he added.
Despite EU and other diplomatic efforts, the conflict has intensified over the past few days with civilian casualties increasing day by day. In Gaza, schools and universities are being targeted while media and organizations such as the Red Cross are denied full access. EU aid is also being prevented from reaching the Gaza Strip.
At the same time Amnesty International continues to call for an end to on-going indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian armed groups into civilian areas in southern Israel.
"The escalation of violence by both parties' demonstrates that diplomatic efforts have not yet had a significant impact. EU Foreign Ministers need to show determination so that their efforts are not ignored" said Beger.