Europe offers to establish Gaza-Cyprus sea route

To prevent future rehabilitation of conflict-torn Strip's military capabilities, European sources say continent willing to negotiate lifting naval blockade with use of European observers.

A European source told Palestinian media outlets on Friday that Europe was willing to establish a sea route between the Gaza Strip and Larnaca, Cyprus – meant for both people and merchandise.



According to the initiative, European observers would be present both in Gaza and Larnaca in order to prevent security violations.


The source noted that Europe was interested in finding a comprehensive, permanent solution in order to save from having to rehabilitate the Strip every few years.


"We want to find a solution to the Gaza problem by reactivating the 2005 agreement on the crossings – including the crossing between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank." The source said that Europe has consulted with all relevant parties on the matter – including the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and Egypt – and is still waiting for their response.


Political sources in Jerusalem clarified Friday that Israeli will not negotiate while militants in Gaza continued to fire rockets on the south, though Hamas has expressed an interest in continuing the talks.


Since 8 am, when the temporary ceasefire expired, dozens of rockets have been fired on Israel from Gaza. At the same time, the Palestinian delegation to Cairo met with Egypt's intelligence chief – though a similar meeting last night produced no results.


Senior Hamas official Hossam Badran announced: "We have made it clear from the beginning that we are not interested in an indefinite ceasefire and in Cairo talks that have no deadline."


Badran stressed that "there would be no extension of the ceasefire unless we are given something in return. Our demands are non-negotiable. Our forces have not been hurt, and we are capable of managing a long war of attrition, that Israel will not be able to stand."


On Wednesday, diplomatic sources in Berlin said Germany, France, and the United Kingdom offered to send a European delegation to help open the Rafah border crossing. But Egypt expressed no interest in having European observers on the border, preferring members of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' presidential guard.


The other demands made by the Palestinian factions in Cairo included: Establishment of airport and seaport in Gaza, rehabilitation of the Strip and convention of emergency committee of international donors, implementation of fourth wave of security detainee to be released as promised to the PA, and the release of Shalit deal prisoners arrested during IDF Operation Brother's Keeper.


פרסום ראשון: 08.08.14, 15:22
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