Britain says Israel must end Gaza's economic isolation

Brown said that Britain would provide 30 million pounds ($44 million) for immediate humanitarian aid for Gazans.

Britain says Israel must end Gaza's economic isolation
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged Israel on Sunday to allow aid workers to operate freely in Gaza and to reopen crossings into the coastal strip following its ceasefire announcement.

Brown said that Britain would provide 30 million pounds ($44 million) for immediate humanitarian aid for Gazans.

The British navy would also patrol the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to prevent arms from reaching the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

"Too many innocent civilians, including hundreds of children, have been killed during the military offensive," Brown told reporters en route to a summit on the crisis in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"Our first priority, a humanitarian imperative, is to get food and medical treatment to those who so urgently need it," the prime minister said.

"Israel must allow full access to humanitarian workers, and to relief supplies. We must also end Gaza's economic isolation by reopening the crossings that link it to the outside world," he added.

No arms to Hamas

Britain would help efforts to transport injured civilians to hospitals in the West Bank and help clear unexploded bombs and shells after a three-week Israeli offensive which killed more than 1,200 Palestinians.

Brown said Britain, France and Germany would work together to prevent the flow of arms to Hamas, which resists years of Israel occupation in Palestinian territories.

"As part of this, Britain will use naval assets in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. We will help train Palestinian and Egyptian security forces. And we will support the return of EU border monitors," he added.


Reuters
Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2009, 11:43
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