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EU calls for end to Gaza blockade

world Updated: Jan 25, 2008 13:45 IST

IANS
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The EU has called on Israel to lift its blockade of border crossing into the Gaza Strip over concern about the humanitarian situation there.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas telling him he was "deeply concerned at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza and was calling urgently for the blockade on Gaza to be eased in order to allow humanitarian aid to reach the people."

He also urged Hamas to stop rocket attacks into Israel on Thursday.

Israel had first closed the Gaza border crossings in June 2006, after militants from the Strip staged a cross-border raid and snatched an Israeli soldier, who is still being held somewhere in the enclave.

The siege of Gaza was intensified in June last year, when Hamas gunmen routed forces loyal to Abbas to seize complete security control of the Strip, and it was tightened even further last week after an upsurge in rockets and mortar attacks form the salient, with more than 130 projectiles launched at southern Israel over three days.