Israel wants water and electricity infrastructure in Gaza
Israel is working on a plan to build a power station, desalination plants and infrastructure for water purification in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday, dpa reported.
"These projects can resolve a real problem of drinking water and electricity and improve the situation," Lieberman said.
After a meeting with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, Lieberman said the new Israeli policy of increasing the amount of goods that can enter the Gaza Strip "is not enough" and that his government "is looking for serious partners" to improve the economic situation in the coastal territory.
Lieberman told Ashton he hoped members of the European Union would back the Israeli plan.
Ashton said the new Israeli policy in Gaza was a "step forward" but called on Israel also to allow exports from the Gaza Strip.
Ashton said she supported the US vision of a two-state solution in which "Gaza should take part".
The EU, she said, is "examining the options" in order to help Palestinians in the control of their borders and Israel in security issues, but rejected the idea of sending "forces" to accomplish these aims.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday in an interview with a Jordanian newspaper that he would be ready to enter direct negotiations if Israel accepted a third party or international force to maintain security of the borders with the Palestinian state.
Ashton said the EU was looking forward to seeing the current indirect peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians advance to a direct dialogue.
"The time is right to really to move the talks in August", she said before meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Sunday in Jerusalem.
After visiting the Gaza Strip for the second time this year, Ashton met Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem and is scheduled to visit Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.