Tuesday, June 14, 2011

OPT: Buzek in Gaza - blockade must end

Source: European Union

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek made the following statement after visiting EU-funded and UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) projects in the Gaza strip during his official visit to the Palestinian territories and Israel:

"I met the people of Gaza, including teachers, students, construction workers and the unemployed. There are three most important things for the people in Gaza: dignity, security and prosperity. They want to work, they want to prosper, and they want to have normal lives.

I saw today the human misery caused by the blockade in Gaza. The Gaza blockade must end. It serves no one. Gaza should be opened to the outside world. The blockade has wiped out the formal economy in Gaza, causing very high unemployment, poverty and frustration. Let's end this vicious circle where the lack of opportunity leads to poverty and poverty breeds anger and radicalism.

I pay tribute to the work of UNRWA in the Palestinian Territories. I visited a school for deaf children, a food distribution centre training college and other projects. The work being done in Gaza is extraordinary and contributes to better lives despite the extremely tough political, economic and social conditions.

We can feel the wind of freedom blowing throughout the region. It is the moment to start serious negotiations and achieve an agreement. We support the agreement to form a new Palestinian government which renounces violence, accepts Israel's right to exist and respects all previous accords."

Referring to Palestinian plans to unilaterally seek recognition by the U.N, the EP President said:

"Unilateral actions simply cannot bring lasting peace in the way that comprehensive negotiation would do."


The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek is on an official visit to the Palestinian Territories and Israel from 12-15 June 2011. He visited the Gaza strip and the West Bank at the start of his visit to the Palestinian Territories on 12-14 June and will be in Israel on 14 -15 June. He will have meetings at the highest political level as well as meet with students, NGOs and civil society.


TV footage of today's visit will be available for download in broadcast and web quality after its broadcast on Europe by Satellite at 20.00 CET: