Photo: Eli Elgarat
Minister Peretz
Photo: Eli Elgarat
Photo: Reuters
Commissioner Michel
Photo: Reuters

EU: Lift Lebanon blockade

European envoy asks Defense Minister Peretz to lift airspace, naval siege imposed on Lebanon during war

A European envoy visiting Israel warned Thursday in Tel Aviv that a deep humanitarian crisis could take root in Lebanon unless Israel lifts the blockade it imposed on its northern neighbor during a month of fighting.


Louis Michel, the EU Commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, met with Defense Minister Amir Peretz and asled him to lift the aerial and sea blockade, pointing to fuel shortages at Lebanese hospitals.


Meanwhile, Michel and Finnish Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paula Lehtomaki, who represents the EU presidency, said the EU intends to hand over roughly 100 million euros in an effort to rehabilitate Lebanon.


In a press conference later, Michel said the blockade could lead to an even more severe humanitarian crisis, but added he was impressed by Peretz's desire to help Lebanon's residents.


'Every victim is a victim'

Michel also addressed the Lebanese army's deployment in southern Lebanon and expressed his hope that all sides implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701. The military option cannot ultimately solve all the problems, he said.


The EU envoy said his visit to Israel was meant to better organize aid to Lebanese refugees and ensure European funds are used in the best possible way.


Michel toured Haifa Thursday morning, met with municipal officials and with rocket fire victims at the Rambam Medical Center, and also visited damaged homes.


"Every victim is a victim, in Israel and Lebanon," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 08.17.06, 19:27
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