Heads of missions of the European Union countries conclude their visit to Gaza

The representative of the European Union to Palestine, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, said that Gaza remains a priority for the Union and its member states, noting that the situation is a source of great concern and affects all aspects of the lives of the residents in Gaza.

He added during a press conference held in the fishermen's port in the west of Gaza City today, Thursday, at the conclusion of a two-day visit to the heads of missions and representatives of the European Union countries, that Gaza is still facing basic political, economic and social challenges that have not been dealt with before, stressing that the continuous closure of the Strip makes Effective recovery and sustainable development is impossible.

The press conference was attended by Minister of Public Works and Housing Mohamed Ziara, Minister of Culture Atef Abu Seif, and Minister of Entrepreneurship and Empowerment Osama Al Saadawi.

A visit on behalf of the Palestinian government welcomed the delegation and thanked it for its supportive stances for our people in all fields, and said: “The important projects that you are undertaking throughout Palestine, including the projects that you visited during this visit, will have a positive impact on the lives of citizens.”

He added: “Despite the current political situation in the Gaza Strip, which we seek to end as quickly as possible and the return of unity between the two wings of the country, the government has never stopped assuming its responsibilities towards our people in Gaza in all areas of life and carrying out projects alongside reconstruction projects to overcome the devastation caused by the attacks. Before 2021, we implemented hundreds of development projects in all areas of life.”

Ziara continued: “It was not possible to implement these projects without external support, and despite these efforts, unfortunately, the destruction never stopped, and before the end of any reconstruction program, new destruction occurred from the Israeli occupation,” noting that “until now, no real reconstruction of the destruction has begun.” the last one".

He called on the international community to allocate sufficient resources to deal with this issue (reconstruction of what was destroyed by the occupation), calling on the European Union to stand by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees “UNRWA”, because it performs great efforts and services in and outside the Strip, and the support must be unconditional.

Ziara said: "We appreciate the political position of the European Union in order to achieve a lasting and just peace on the basis of international laws and relevant United Nations resolutions," noting that the efforts of the international community must continue in order to end the Israeli occupation and enable the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He also called for a visit to fulfill the well-known and inalienable Palestinian rights, on the path to achieving lasting peace, stressing that settlement, forced displacement of Palestinians from their homes, demolition of homes, prevention of elections in Jerusalem, targeting of children, confiscation of land, siege of Gaza, prevention of reconstruction and deprivation of people's right to live in dignity must all stop. immediately.

During the visit, the delegation, which included 20 diplomats, heads of missions and representatives of EU countries, met with ministers and officials from the Palestinian National Authority, inspected the Kerem Shalom and Rafah crossings, EU-funded projects, and met civil society representatives, human rights defenders, analysts, politicians, women and youth activists and representatives of the private sector and international organizations.

The delegation joined the children of Gaza in the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of UNICEF, where children and diplomats wrote drawings on the walls of the desalination plant in Gaza, one of the main EU projects in Gaza.

At the Kerem Shalom crossing, the delegation was briefed on the requirements and procedures for the entry and exit of goods, including humanitarian aid. At the Rafah crossing, the European Union Border Assistance Mission in Rafah briefed the diplomats of its mandate to operate in Rafah. In this context, the delegation was also briefed on the existing procedures regarding the movement of citizens between Gaza and Egypt.

The diplomats also visited EU-funded projects including the Beit Lahia Bedouin village of Umm al-Nasr and its women's center, met with representatives of the local community, and visited a strawberry farm supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, where farmers briefed them on the status of the agricultural sector in Gaza.

The diplomats also visited the UNRWA Tal al-Hawa Girls' School as part of the long-term support of the European Union and its Member States towards Palestine refugees.

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