EU to discuss Rafah mission, policy chief slams Israel's Netanyahu

Diplomats have said the undertaking would need unanimous approval from the 27 member states

By Reuters

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 27 May 2024, 12:31 PM

The European Union aims to agree on Monday to press ahead with an EU border mission at Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip, said policy chief Joseph Borrell on Monday.

Speaking before a monthly meeting of EU foreign ministers, Borrell also said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using false claims of antisemitism against the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his own political ends.

The bloc is considering reviving its European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) Rafah, which has not been operational since 2007, when the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas seized full control of Gaza.

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The Rafah crossing is the main entry point for aid from Egypt, and has been closed since Israeli forces took control of it from the Gazan side nearly three weeks ago.

"Today we can have a political decision and then it needs to be implemented technically," Borrell told reporters, adding that it could not be put into place without approval from Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians.

The civilian mission would need unanimous approval from the 27 EU member states. It was not immediately clear what the role of a revived EUBAM would be, and it would have to be adapted to reflect the potentially dangerous nature of such an operation.

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said it would take some time for any decision on the mission to be put in place. Diplomats have said the mission was unlikely to be in place before hostilities in Rafah stopped.


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