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By Tom Rivers
12 January 2009
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says it is in everyone's interest to see the U.N. Security Council resolution on Gaza implemented as soon as possible.
|British Foreign Secretary David Miliband (file photo)|
Using the words of Middle East envoy Tony Blair, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told his parliamentary colleagues that the current situation in Gaza is "Hell, and the violence must end".
"Peace benefits Israelis and Palestinians," he said. "War kills both. They are destined to live next door to each other. They can either do so as combatants or as neighbors. We are committed to help them do the latter. That is what Israelis and Palestinians need. It is also what we need before it is too late."
As to immediate relief efforts, Miliband said while some aid was getting in, the amount was simply inadequate.
"Relief is needed for the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza," he said. "Emergency aid is essential and Britain has added $10 million to its aid contribution since the conflict began."
The foreign secretary reiterated that resolution 1860 calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire that would lead to a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. It also denounces all acts of terrorism.
|A Palestinian woman carries a mattress from the rubble of a building in an area targeted by Israeli air strikes in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday, 12 Jan. 2009|
Miliband says delivering security is the key for the region.
"There need to be security improvements, above all a curb on the trafficking of illegal arms into Gaza," he said. "These armaments are the source of fear for thousands of Israelis some of whom I talked to in Sderot in November. They are also a threat to any prospect of Palestinian reconciliation designed as they are to entrench the power of Hamas in Gaza in defiance of President Abbas' call for quote, one authority, one source of security."
David Miliband said beyond the short-term goal of establishing a ceasefire, the long-term goal of finding a two-state solution, acceptable to all, must be vigorously pursued.