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UN humanitarian chief tells Israel to end Gaza blockade

Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 15:15

United Nations: Describing the continuing
blockade of Gaza Strip as "frustrating", a top UN official has
asked Israel to end the siege and allow essential goods to
reach the Palestinian territory so that the people there can
live a "normal life".

"We continue to call for the relaxation of this
blockade on Gaza and the entry of goods in a normal way, to
allow reconstruction and to allow the Gazans to live something
more like a normal life rather than the existence they have at
the moment," Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
John Holmes told journalists here.

Holmes stressed that Corporal Gilad Shalit who was
kidnapped by Hamas fighters in 2006 should be released but
slammed the Israeli authorities for linking the fate of one
soldier to the entire Palestinian population.

"The link between that and the fate of one and a half
million Palestinians in Gaza does not seem to us a reasonable
one," the UN official said, noting that no constructions good
were being allowed inside to rebuild Gaza`s infrastructure
that was destroyed by Israeli Defence Forces during Operation
Cast Lead between December 2008 and January 2009.

"That is very frustrating," said Holmes, who visited
the region for four days earlier this month.

Holmes noted that the goods coming in through the
network of underground tunnels from Egypt were not available
to everyone since most had no livelihood and was also creating
an "illegal gangster economy."


First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 15:15

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