By Worldbulletin staff
The EU's two leading diplomats to Israel and Palestine said the international community's attempts at trying to weaken Hamas have failed and should be reevaluated, Israeli media reported.
"The policy implemented in the last year [toward the Gaza Strip] aimed at strengthening people [through providing direct economic assistance and humanitarian aid], and weakening Hamas... is having the opposite effect," said Ramiro Cibrián-Uzal, the EU's ambassador to Israel, Israeli newspaper Jerusalam Post reported.
"We need to think about alternative policies, because this has not been successful. This is important to recognize."
Also Cibrian-Uzal's counterpart in the West Bank and Gaza, John Kjaer said that the closure of the crossings into Gaza had been counterproductive.
Only allowing in humanitarian assistance, rather than a free flow of goods through the Gaza crossing that enable the development of the Gaza economy and show "peace dividends," has only increased Hamas's rule, Kjaer said.
Regarding the possibility of a Hamas-brokered cease-fire in Gaza, Cibrian-Uzal said that "Israel should accept something that leads to the stabilization of Gaza."
He said the EU would support reasonable proposals for quiet in Gaza, and "we believe others should as well." He said that the EU had consistently said that any cease-fire deal should include a prisoner exchange that would bring about the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit.
Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2008, 17:15