EU Supports Efforts to Establish Humanitarian Corridors to Gaza Strip

Friday, 13 October 2023

The European Commission has supported the UN's call and stated that it is ready to support efforts to organise humanitarian corridors to the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian situation is dire due to the Israeli blockade.

Eric Mamer, spokesman for the European Commission, stressed that the EU is concerned about the situation in Gaza due to the Israeli blockade.

"There are concerns over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, particularly the lack of water, food, medicine, fuel and electricity. The EU, therefore, supports the UN Secretary General's call and stands ready to support UN efforts to help alleviate the situation, including encouraging the establishment of humanitarian corridors and the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid," the spokesperson said.

Mamer noted that the EU is intensifying its engagement with all regional players and key international partners to this end.

He stressed that "the protection of civilians is essential" and must be ensured "by all parties, everywhere".

"Civilians must be warned and notified in advance of impending military operations so that they can leave (the area), and that's what Israel has done.

Such warnings and the expected displacement of large parts of the population should prevent, as the UN has stressed, severe humanitarian consequences," he said.

The spokesperson also stressed that Hamas must not stop people from leaving the area and must not use them as human shields. "This would be another atrocity by Hamas, and using civilians as human shields is a war crime," Mamer stressed.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have issued an appeal to Gaza Strip residents urging civilians to evacuate to the south for their own safety and warning them that the army will carry on with their strikes against the Hamas terrorist group.

UN representatives in Gaza said they had also received a notice advising of an evacuation within 24 hours, but since it would involve displacing around 1.1 million people, they believe it is "impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences".

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary General, stated that the UN "strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation".

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