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EU Statement On The Israel/Hamas Gaza Ceasefire

Israel-OPT: European Commissioner statement on announcement of ceasefire

Following the announcement of a truce between Israel and Hamas, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, has said:

"I welcome the news of the agreement between Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian factions brokered by Egypt on a mutual cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. I appreciate Egypt's efforts to facilitate this agreement because the people of Gaza and southern Israel have suffered too long.

I am awaiting now the ceasefire to take effect on Thursday morning. I hope that it will lead to a lasting peace so that the Gaza crossings can be reopened for the regular flow of both humanitarian and commercial goods. The EU has indicated that it is ready to consider resuming its border assistance mission at Rafah as soon as conditions allow.

Complete cessation of hostilities will no doubt create an environment which is more supportive of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The EU remains committed to supporting a political agreement by the end of 2008"

ENDS

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