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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Tel-Aviv sous pression

by Ch. B.

Tel Aviv Under Pressure

Translated Friday 16 July 2010, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The Spanish presidency of the European Union comes out in favor of a “strong” political position on the situation in Gaza and against the blockade.

From our special correspondent (June 14, 2010).

“Gisha (1) is happy to learn that coriander is no longer a threat to Israel’s security.” This was the ironic reaction on the part of the Israeli organization for the defense of human rights, following the government’s announcement that new products were – or soon could be - authorized in Gaza.

The list includes jam, razors, coriander and cookies, which have been forbidden for the past three years. Two weeks after its attack on the flotilla, the Israeli government would like to reduce international pressure. Last week, Barack Obama described the blockade as “unsustainable” and called on Israel to relax it (but not to lift it).

On the part of the European Union, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero, whose country presides over the EU until July 1st, said Spain on Saturday would try to forge “a strong united EU position in the face of what has happened in Gaza and the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”

The Council of EU foreign ministers, which is meeting today, is to discuss “a plan to lift the blockade” imposed by Israel in order to “guarantee the entry of humanitarian aid and the free circulation of goods, people and merchandise.”

The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, said he was “satisfied at the role of the EU and the [European] political position.” For his part, the leader of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, while visiting Gaza for the first time yesterday, demanded an end to the blockade.

(1) Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law.

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