GUE/NGL MEPS, who were denied entry to Gaza by Israeli authorities, heard about the situation on the ground from UNRWA representatives in Jerusalem today.

They described Israel's latest deadly military bombardment on Gaza as “unparalleled” in terms of the level of destruction of human life and infrastructure. Israeli rules on imports are affecting the ability to begin reconstruction. There are huge challenges ahead when it comes to providing psychosocial support for children.

UNRWA outlined that the people of Gaza couldn't wait for the outcome of an international conference, more money is needed now to help rebuild and support the local economy. They drew attention to the low levels of EU aid money available and the delays in money being allocated due to stalemates in approval of the EU budget.

GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias said: “We put forward several amendments in the Budget committee to reinforce the money for Gaza. But the problem is the main forces in the Parliament who are unsympathetic to Palestine who block these calls, not to mention the role of EU governments, as they always reduce further what little money Parliament does propose.

“When I came in 2011 to the Gaza Strip I saw that much had been rebuilt after the 2008 war. And now all UNRWA's work and effort to rebuild has been once again destroyed.”

UNRWA emphasised how important international solidarity is; with the mass global protests denouncing Israel's actions proving that people are miles ahead of most politicians in this respect.

The MEPs also discussed the main political challenges surrounding the blockade as well as the accountability challenge: the crimes committed in this conflict can't be forgotten.

Press contact:
Emily Macintosh 0032 470 850 508
[email protected]

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