EU officials to evaluate Gaza border monitoring

The European Union said it was sending senior officials to the Middle East to evaluate an EU role in helping monitor the Gaza Strip border. In a statement, the EU's executive commission said it "stands ready to play its part" should Israel and the Palestinians both request an EU role on the border. Israeli Cabinet ministers on Tuesday approved the deployment of European inspectors at the border, a breakthrough after weeks of slow-moving talks and a major step toward giving the Palestinians freedom of movement without Israeli control for the first time in four decades. An EU mission could "play an important part in rebuilding confidence between the two parties, and helping to kickstart the Palestinian economy in Gaza," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Walder said.