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EU - Israel talks on upgrading ties on hold

Christian Aid notes the recent announcement by the European Commission to take 'time-out' on its talks with Israel on upgrading relations.

The head of the European Commission delegation to Israel announced that the decision was taken in light of the current conflict in Gaza.

‘Christian Aid believes this is a missed opportunity; it gives the appearance of a face-saving device, rather than a clear EU condemnation of the situation in Gaza,’ says Janet Symes, Christian Aid’s head of Middle East region.

‘The EU cannot extend further benefits of European partnership to a government that violates international humanitarian law and refuses negotiation in favour of continued violence.

‘Christian Aid believes that both parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law,’ continues Ms Symes.

Christian Aid says that only an immediate ceasefire and the opening of the Gaza crossings will alleviate the catastrophic situation in Gaza and provide real security for both sides.

‘Priority must be given to ensuring an immediate cessation of hostilities, followed by a negotiation of the terms. Each hour spent negotiating the terms of a ceasefire without implementing it costs further loss of life and intensifies the humanitarian crisis,’ says Ms Symes.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Contact details:

For further information or to arrange interviews with partners in Gaza or with Janet Symes, Christian Aid head of Middle East region here in the UK, please contact Judith Melby on 07720 467 679 or jmelby@christian-aid.org

Where possible we ask if you would please publish or broadcast details for our emergency appeal:

To donate to Christian Aid’s emergency appeal for Gaza please go towww.christianaid.org.uk/gaza