BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Envoys from the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators said on Monday it was urgent to improve the “dire humanitarian situation” in Gaza, heavily damaged in last year’s war between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Envoys from the Quartet - the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia - met in Brussels on Monday to discuss prospects for reviving the Middle East peace process, noting that it was important to engage closely with Arab partners in attempts to do so.
The last talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April after months of largely fruitless negotiation, with the Palestinians angry at the continued building of Jewish settlements in occupied territory, and Israel furious at attempts to bring the Islamist group Hamas, which officially denies Israel’s right to exist, into the Palestinian government.
The Quartet envoys “also underscored the urgency of improving the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza and agreed that every effort should be made to encourage the fulfillment of pledges of assistance made at the Cairo Conference on the reconstruction of Gaza in October last year,” a statement issued after the talks said.
The Cairo conference raised more than $5 billion in aid for the Palestinians after the devastating war in the tiny coastal territory during which more than 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis were killed.
Reporting by Adrian Croft, editing by David Evans