Special report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts
BRUSSELS, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission announced on Sunday
that it would provide an extra 3 million euros (some 4.2million U.S. dollars) in
emergency humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip "as rapidly as possible" to meet
the basic needs of people affected by the Israeli airstrikes.
The executive arm of the European Union (EU) also called on Israel to
ensure a smooth passage for the humanitarian aid.
"Blocking access to people who are suffering and dying is also a breach of
humanitarian law. I call on the Israeli authorities to respect their
international obligations and ensure a 'humanitarian space' for the delivery of
vital relief," said European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
The latest aid, the first humanitarian funding earmarked by the European
Commission in 2009, will be focused on food, emergency shelter repairs and
further medical support, according to the Commission.
In 2008, the European Commission provided more than 73 million euros in
humanitarian assistance for victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts in the
Palestinian territories, of which 56 percent was for relief activities in the
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Cast Lead operation entered its eighth day
on Saturday, with the IDF starting its ground incursion into the
Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, vowing to destroy "terror infrastructure" of Hamas.
Since Dec. 27, the Israeli airstrikes against the Gaza Strip had left more
than 450 people dead and thousands of others injured.