European Gaza aid chief urges opening of border

Louis Michel, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, has called for the opening of the border between Israel and Gaza to enable vital relief supplies to reach the people inside the Gaza Strip. "We know the needs are increasing all the time. The problem now is providing secure access to those who are suffering. €30 million in supplies and funding from the EU are ready and waiting: give us the tools to get on with the job. "In the current situation, there is a real risk that Gaza will begin to look like a citadel under siege, where the civilian population is trapped and even basic needs cannot be met. Humanitarian aid is neutral. It does not seek to confer any advantage on any party or imply any form of political recognition. There are no grounds for a blockade of humanitarian aid. This must continue to be provided to the people in Gaza in the same way as for vulnerable groups in the West Bank - and in other crisis zones."