Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament issued a press release demanding cease-fire and an end to the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and slammed Israels decision to deny President Carter entry to the Strip.Morgantini, a well known Human Rights and peace activist, urged the International Community and the European Union to work for a cease-fire and an end to the siege which has claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinians in the past 10 months.

Morgantini has also condemned the Israeli decision to prevent former US President Jimmy Carter from entering the Gaza Strip, describing it as an unprecedented decision.

“While the Israeli Government continues its policy of isolation and collective punishment towards the Palestinian civil population in Gaza, it has also prevented to a former Head of State to visit the Gaza Strip. This unprecedented decision was adopted in the case of Jimmy Carter, former US President and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner,” Morgantini said.

Carter was a mediator in the 1978 Camp David negotiations; the first agreement signed by Israel and an Arab State, Egypt.

Morgantini added that if such a decision is made by another country rather than Israel, “it would have provoked a real protest in the international media.”

At least 20 Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers have been killed in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, while Israel is threatening with more attacks and possible invasions.

Palestinians in Gaza are denied the most basic necessities and the possibility to lead a dignified life. More than 130 Palestinian patients have died because of being prevented to exit the coastal region for medication and for the lack of medical supplies in Gaza Strip.

“The International Community and the European Union have no more excuses: they must intervene immediately, in a stronger and more effective way, for the immediate opening of all of Gaza’s border crossings (according to the obligations of an occupying army under International Law), and for an immediate cease-fire by both sides,” Morgantini concluded her press release.