Five EU Foreign Minister urge Israel to change its Gaza policy
The foreign ministers of Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Britain on Monday urged Israel to change its policy towards the Gaza Strip. The five "emphasize the need for a fundamental change of policy leading to a durable solution to the situation in Gaza, in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1860," Italy's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The resolution passed last year calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, for Israel to allow the unimpeded supply of food, fuel and medical treatment, and for intensified international arrangements to counter arms smuggling into the strip. The five also said they hoped the measures announced by Israel to ease barriers on imports to Gaza will soon be implemented. Earlier on Monday, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the Spanish, French and Italian foreign ministers would visit Gaza this month to check on Israel's plan to ease the blockade. International pressure on Israel to lift sanctions soared after its forces killed nine Turkish activists during a May 31 raid on a flotilla of aid ships attempting to run the blockade. Also on Monday, Turkey said it would sever diplomatic ties with Israel unless it apologizes for the operation, but the Israeli government replied that it would never say it is sorry for defending itself.