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Oxfam calls on EU not to upgrade ties with Israel

By Nawab Khan BRUSSELS, June 14 (KUNA) -- The European Union (EU) should not upgrade its relations with Israel until there is tangible improvement of the humanitarian situation on ground in Gaza, said a representative of OXFAM, the international aid organization on Sunday.
"We in Oxfam are calling on the EU for formal suspension of the upgrading process. It is currently informally-suspended. We would like to see the suspension continued until we see a lifting of the blockade," Sara Hamood, Policy Advisor for OXFAM for the occupied Palestinian territories, told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) in an interview.
"We would like to see tangible improvements on the ground that actual goods are going into and out of Gaza and that people are getting into and out of Gaza without impediment," she said.
Hamood, who is based in Jerusalem, was in Brussels to brief the EU working group on humanitarian and food aid.
She urged the EU and European countries to use the tools at their disposal to pressure different parties in the conflict in order for them to prioritize the interest of civilians.
Almost five months after the ceasefire following the brutal Israeli military onslaught on Gaza and three years after the Israeli blockade of Gaza "what we see is a real dire humanitarian situation, in which entry of goods and people into Gaza remains severely restricted to food, aid and medical supplies," noted the aid worker.
EU foreign ministers are expected to meet the hard-liner Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the Middle East peace process and EU-Israeli ties.
According to EU sources, the EU is expected to call on Israel to "unequivocally" commit to the two-state solution and to immediately end Jewish settlement activities.
Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. (end) nk.hb KUNA 142026 Jun 09NNNN