UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The Middle East Quartet -- the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia, on Monday issued a joint statement welcoming Israel's new policy shift towards Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade for four years.
"The new policy towards Gaza just announced by the government of Israel is a welcome development," read a statement agreed by the four parties.
The Quartet, however, stressed that "elaboration of further details and modalities of implementation will be important in ensuring the effectiveness of the new policy."
"Full and effective implementation will comprise a significant shift in strategy towards meeting the needs of Gaza's population for humanitarian and commercial goods, civilian reconstruction and infrastructure, and legitimate economic activity, as well as the security needs of Israel."
The Quartet said it will continue to work with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and other concerned parties to ensure these arrangements are implemented as quickly as possible.
Israel announced Sunday that it would ease the blockade by extending the list of items allowed into the territory, the first mitigation of embargo amid international appeal to end the Gaza siege after Israel navy stormed a Gaza-bound humanitarian ship and killed Turkish activists in late May.
The Quartet statement underlined that "current situation in Gaza, including the humanitarian and human rights situation of the civilian population, is unsustainable, unacceptable, and not in the interests of any of those concerned."
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