EU Envoy to Israel: Gaza Fighting Will Resume if Talks Don't Progress

Lars Faaborg-Andersen says Israel and Palestinian factions will likely receive invitation in coming days to return to Cairo to continue talks.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen.
EU envoy to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen.Credit: Moti Milrod
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

The European Union's envoy to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, told reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday the he is concerned fighting will resume with the Gaza Strip if negotiation for a long-term cease-fire between Israel and Hamas do not begin to see progress.

"If the situation in Gaza goes unaddressed there is a big potential for violence to resume. We must not return to the status quo," he said. Faaborg-Anderson added that he had been informed that Egypt was planning to send invitations to Israel and the Palestinian factions in the coming days to return to Cairo and continue talks on the long-term cease-fire.

According to Faaborg-Andersen, any agreement would have to ensure the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip while simultaneously meeting Israel's security needs.

"There is a need to go back to the Cairo talks as soon as possible. We need to see a return of the PA to Gaza in order to lead the reconstruction efforts. We don't want to go back to instability within a few months," he said.

The head of the European Union's representation in East Jerusalem, John Gatt-Rutter, told reporters that during a visit to Gaza last week, he found that "there is great despair and fear [in the Strip] that the violence resume. Nothing has changed in the situation in Gaza and life there only got worse."

Gatt-Rutter said that intensive contacts were underway ahead of the donors' conference on Gaza, scheduled to convene on October 12. It still was not clear whether Israel would participate in the conference, he said, adding that the summit must focus on diplomatic issues in addition, and not just a collection of donations.

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