EU FMs to meet on Tuesday to discuss Israeli bombs on Gaza

European Union foreign ministers will meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the Israeli attacks on Gaza in a move that reflects growing concern in Europe.

EU FMs to meet on Tuesday to discuss Israeli bombs on Gaza

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that ministers would try to find ways for the EU to work with the United Nations to resolve the crisis.

A diplomatic source also said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was trying to negotiate a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip to allow in medical aid.

Israel has killed more than 325 Palestinians in air strikes on Gaza since Saturday.

After an initially muted response, some European capitals have grown increasingly alarmed by the growing death toll.

"We are appalled by the continuing violence in Gaza and reiterate our call to Israel and Hamas for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further loss of innocent life," said a spokesman for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

But Germany still blamed Hamas for Israeli violence because it ended a 6-month truce with Israel on Dec. 19, which Israel did not meet truce conditions, including lifting siege on Gaza.

German, British and French leaders made numerous phone calls during the day with counterparts in the Middle East, all calling for urgent medical aid to be allowed into Gaza.

"France and the European Union, which are already the main providers of humanitarian and economic support for the population of Gaza, are ready to increase their aid to meet urgent needs," said a French Foreign Ministry spokesman.

"We are, in particular, ready to provide additional food and medical aid to the population in Gaza," he said.

Both France and Britain said they wanted to work with the United Nations to ease the situation.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chided world leaders on Monday for not doing enough to halt an unacceptable level of violence.

The Paris meeting of foreign ministers will start at 6:30 p.m. (1730 GMT). France organised the gathering in its role as president of the European Union until Dec. 31.


Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 12:21
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