There are two types of smuggling into Gaza. The majority of smuggling is for commercial goods, including fuel. We believe that this continues to be a major part of the Gazan economy, primarily because of the continuing Israeli restrictions at the commercial crossings into the strip. The UK continues to call on the Israeli Government to reduce restrictions at the Gaza crossings on trade goods, reconstruction materials, and aid, as well as flows of people. The second type of smuggling is arms smuggling. We believe that recent actions have disrupted this to some extent but that it does continue. UK officials will attend a meeting in Ottawa in June 2009 (following earlier meetings in Copenhagen and London) to address further measures to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.
We are deeply concerned by reports of continued sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza aimed at Israel and call on the attacks to cease immediately. The UK continues to urge Hamas to renounce violence and condemns attempts to smuggle weapons and ammunition into Gaza.
The UK continues to work with international partners against the smuggling of arms into Gaza. UK officials will attend a meeting in Ottawa in June 2009 (following earlier meetings in Copenhagen and London), to address further measures to prevent arms smuggling.