Norway positive to easing of Gaza blockade / News / The Foreigner

Norway positive to easing of Gaza blockade. Israel’s recent decision to ease its blockade of Gaza after repeated calls from the international community received a favourable response from Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre. “It is positive that Israel has now decided to ease the blockade of Gaza. In my view, the blockade is counterproductive because it directly affects the civilian population and undermines the forces on the Palestinian side that are interested in peace,” he says in a press statement.  The easing now means more building materials and goods will be allowed into Gaza, giving the UN and the Palestinian government a chance to begin rebuilding homes and schools, as well as improving health services and sanitation.

jonas, gahr, stoere, ehud, barak, ban, ki-moon, un, secretary-general, norway, israel, palestine, gaza, blockade, lebanon, cyprus



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Norway positive to easing of Gaza blockade

Published on Tuesday, 22nd June, 2010 at 11:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Israel’s recent decision to ease its blockade of Gaza after repeated calls from the international community received a favourable response from Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre.

Gaza city (2009)
Gaza city (2009)
Photo: Hockeycraze120Wikimedia Commons


Close contact

“It is positive that Israel has now decided to ease the blockade of Gaza. In my view, the blockade is counterproductive because it directly affects the civilian population and undermines the forces on the Palestinian side that are interested in peace,” he says in a press statement. 

The easing now means more building materials and goods will be allowed into Gaza, giving the UN and the Palestinian government a chance to begin rebuilding homes and schools, as well as improving health services and sanitation.

“I have been in close contact with Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad, Quartet Envoy Blair and the US Middle East team during this process. We will continue our dialogue with all relevant parties with a view to ensuring that they are swiftly implemented,” Støre says.

Norway’s role as chair of the Ad Hoc Liason Committee (AHLC) donor forum, as well as adherence to the UN Security Council’s mandate, means ithas actively participated in developing the package of measures that are now in place.

Støre goes on to say whilst Norway recognises Israel’s need to prevent weapons being smuggled into the region, he doesn’t believe easing the blockade will compromise the country’s own security needs.

Postponement

Meanwhile, Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defence, says he’s advised UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon to postpone the UN-backed independent investigation into last month’s Mavi Marmara commando raid.

Israel’s own independent investigation is moving ahead, according to Barak, who also argues time was needed for it to work.

“We expressed our view that for the time being, as long as ... new flotillas are in the preparation, it's probably better to leave it [a UN investigation] on the shelf for a certain time," Barak told reporters after yesterday’s meeting with the UNSG in New York.

At the same time, Barak cautioned Lebanon against trying to break the blockade, after the country said earlier in the day it would allow an aid ship to sail to Gaza.

Israel has warned it has the right to use all necessary means to prevent ships sailing between Lebanon and Gaza, according to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz

“We see the government of Lebanon responsible by granting permission for another ship with activists and aid on board to embark for Cyprus on a new attempt to reach the Palestinian territory," Barak said.




Published on Tuesday, 22nd June, 2010 at 11:49 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: jonas, gahr, stoere, ehud, barak, ban, ki-moon, un, secretary-general, norway, israel, palestine, gaza, blockade, lebanon, cyprus.





  
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