Europe should step up its role in the Israel-Palestine conflict and must be more than a “bank window,” whose job is to lend resources for the post-war reconstruction, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.
The European Union, Palestine’s largest aid donor and Israel’s biggest economic partner, seemed to have a little influence in efforts to reach a resolution in both sides, Reuters reported.
“For a solution to finally be reached, the United States’ role will be decisive,” Hollande said in an annual speech to French diplomats outlining foreign policy objectives.
“But Europe’s role is as important. It must act more. Europe does a lot to rebuild and develop Palestine, but it can’t simply just be a bank window where we turn to heal the wounds after a recurring conflict.”
The French government earlier maintained that peace negotiations failed, the international community should resolve the conflict.
“We have to go towards a progressive lifting of the blockade and the demilitarization of the territory,” Hollande said, referring to the proposal of France, Britain, and Germany to create a Gaza monitoring mission.
On Tuesday evening, Israel and Hamas declared an open-ended truce after 50 days of fighting. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came under fire among government hardliners for not defeating Hamas.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, aid flowed into the war-torn territory a day after the truce was declared, allowing residents to rebuild their lives after 50 days of bombings, the Agence France-Presse reported.
At the Kerem Shalom crossing, vital humanitarian aid from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and other commercial goods are being transported into the territory, including furniture, fruits, and non-perishable foodstuffs, and water tanks.
On Wednesday, more than 200 tons of aid from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkey poured into Gaza from Egypt, entering via the Rafah border crossing.
Other essential aid like medicine, health supplies, and medical equipment arrived also from Saudi Arabia and Oman.