`Israel`s blockade violating Palestinians` human rights`
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Last Updated: Sunday, December 27, 2009, 14:46
United Nations: On the anniversary of Israel's siege of the Gaza strip, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday said issues that led to this conflict remain unresolved and the blockade of borders by Tel Aviv was violating Palestinians' basic human rights.

The Secretary-General also asked Palestinian outfit Hamas not to resort to violence and called on people of both countries to work out a solution to end the decades-old conflict.

"There is a sense of hopelessness in Gaza today for 1.5 million Palestinians, half of whom are under eighteen. Their fate and the well-being of Israelis are intimately connected," Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

"The quality and quantity of humanitarian supplies entering Gaza is insufficient. Broader economic and reconstruction activity is paralysed, and the people of Gaza are denied basic human rights," he said.

A UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone has found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Hamas and Israeli forces during the military assault from December 27, 2008 to January 21, 2009, that killed 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

Last month, the General Assembly passed a resolution endorsing the report and asked Israeli and Palestinian authorities, within three months, to investigate crimes committed during the attack on Gaza strip failing which the matter will be placed before the Security Council.

Noting that Egypt has tirelessly worked for Palestinian unity but without a breakthrough, Ban underlined the urgent need for a fundamentally-different approach.

"The Secretary-General calls on Israel to end the unacceptable and counter-productive blockade of Gaza, facilitate economic activity and civilian reconstruction, and fully respect and uphold international law," the spokesperson said.

"The Secretary-General also calls on all Palestinians to work for unity and elections within the framework of the legitimate Palestinian Authority," he added.

The latest UN report on humanitarian conditions in the Occupied Palestinian territory says Israeli settlements continue to build in violation of international law in West Bank and East Jerusalem, and attempts to remove them has led to fresh violence against Palestinians.

Marking the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian people on November 30, Ban said the Palestinian state must be created on the basis of UN resolutions and the two-state solution.

Saying that "today's anniversary is a reminder of the bitter consequences of the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to which there is and can be no military solution," the UN Chief pointed out that leaders of both regions must make "achievement of a two State solution" an immediate priority.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, December 27, 2009, 14:46

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