THE EUROPEAN UNION
Council conclusions on Gaza
3023rd FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting
Luxembourg, 14 June 2010
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. "The EU deeply regrets the loss of life during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the Flotilla sailing to Gaza and condemns the use of violence. The Council believes that an immediate, full and impartial inquiry into these events and the circumstances surrounding them is essential. To command the confidence of the international community this should include credible international participation.
2. The situation in Gaza remains unsustainable. The continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive. The EU calls for an urgent and fundamental change of policy leading to a durable solution to the situation in Gaza. In line with UNSC Resolution 1860, the EU reiterates its call for an immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza including goods from the West Bank. The Council calls for a solution that addresses Israel's legitimate security concerns including a complete stop to all violence and arms smuggling into Gaza.
3. The Council deplores the continuing acts of rocket fire. All those responsible must take immediate and concrete steps to cease and prevent such violence. The Council calls on those holding the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release him without delay. Hamas must also unconditionally allow ICRC access and end its interference with the operations of NGOs and UN agencies in Gaza.
4. The EU stands ready to contribute to the implementation of a mechanism based on the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access that would permit the reconstruction of Gaza and the revival of its economy. To this end, full and regular access via land crossings, and possibly by sea, on the basis of a list of prohibited goods, should be the prime aim, while at the same time providing strict control over the destination of imported merchandise. To achieve progress on the ground, the High Representative will continue to engage with the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Quartet members and other appropriate parties as a matter of urgency and present EU options with a view to the next Foreign Affairs Council.
5. The Council recalls its conclusions of December 2009. The EU stresses the paramount importance that the proximity talks continue with a view to the resumption of direct negotiations which should lead to a settlement negotiated between the parties within 24 months. All efforts to achieve Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas must be accelerated. The Council acknowledges Egyptian efforts in this respect."