EU call for improved humanitarian access welcome but must not be a substitute for diplomatic pressure for immediate ceasefire

“An immediate end to the violence and an end to the blockade of Gaza is desperately needed”
Jeremy Hobbs
Executive Director of Oxfam International
Published: 30 December 2008

International aid agency Oxfam called on EU foreign ministers to go beyond calls for increased humanitarian access into Gaza and push Israel and Hamas to agree an immediate ceasefire. The agency warned that any agreement on improved humanitarian access must not be a fig leaf for lacklustre diplomatic efforts to bring the violence to an immediate end.



“The EU should immediately send High Representative Javier Solana to the region to help negotiate a lasting ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and ensure an end to the blockade of Gaza.



“What is needed is an immediate ceasefire to end the terrible levels of human suffering in Gaza. Only then can there be any hope of substantial levels of humanitarian supplies reaching those in need. It is just far too dangerous for people to receive aid and for aid workers to deliver it and there is little fuel in Gaza to transport the aid. For the people of Gaza the latest round of violence is an intense part of a festering catastrophe they have endured for more than 18 months. An immediate end to the violence and an end to the blockade of Gaza is desperately needed,” said Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International’s Executive Director.