STRASBOURG (EJP)---The European Parliament on Thursday called for an international and impartial inquiry into Israel's attack on a Gaza-bound flotilla and the end to the Gaza Strip blockade, in a resolution adopted by 470 votes in favour, 56 against and 56 abstentions.
Israel should "immediately" end the Gaza blockade, “which has resulted in a humanitarian disaster, paralyzed the Gaza Strip's reconstruction and economy and aggravated political radicalization,” the resolution said.
They called on EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to submit an EU plan to the Mideast Quartet to help end the blockade.
The MEP’s also proposed an international monitoring of the crossings into Gaza, including the re-activation of the EU Border Assistance Mission (EU-BAM), in order to address Israel's security concerns.
On Wednesday, Catherine Ashton said the EU may send a naval mission towards Gaza to help control the transit of goods if Israel lifts its blockade of the Palestinian territory. Wednesday.
Israel’s National Security Cabinet on Thursday decided to ease a number of restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip. It issued a statement saying that the siege method would be changed in order to allow the entry of additional civilian goods into the Gaza Strip.
The EU Parliament also called on Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to stop all attacks against Israel immediately and to free Gilad Shalit, the Israeli sergeant captured by Hamas 4 years ago and held incommunicado ever since.
The EU-Israel Association Council and the EU-Palestinian Authority Joint Committee should be convened to discuss the current the Middle East crisis, says the resolution.
MEPs encouraged Turkey to focus its diplomatic and political effort on easing the plight of the Palestinian people and contributing to the Middle East peace process.