Know More About Palestine

Tuesday Nov. 30, 2010 10:18 AM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, Nov 30 (JMCC) - Twenty-one aid agencies are charging Israel with prolonging a blockade on Gaza that it promised to bring to an end six months ago.

Restrictions on importing raw materials, exports of goods and limited movement are all part of the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip said the aid organizations in a report issued Tuesday.

The so-called 'easing' of the Gaza blockade does not change the fact that there's still a cruel and illegal blockade collectively punishing the entire civilian population, said Amnesty director Kate Allen. The only real easing has been the easing of pressure on the Israeli authorities to end this cruel and illegal practice. Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam, said: Israel's failure to live up to its commitments and the lack of international action to lift the blockade are depriving Palestinians in Gaza of access to clean water, electricity, jobs and a peaceful future.

The coalition calls for renewed international pressure on Israel over Gaza. There cannot be a just and durable resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without an end to the isolation and punishment of people in Gaza, the report says. The government of Israel and parts of the international community remain reluctant to fully lift the blockade as long as Hamas holds power in Gaza. Yet upholding the rights and needs of civilians in Gaza must not be conditional on other political objectives.

In a statement, COGAT, the Israeli military body responsible for Gaza, said the report's claims were biased and distorted and therefore mislead the public. It said the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip every day had increased by 92% since last June. There were security and logistical issues regarding exports of goods and and the import of construction materials, it added.

Read the article at the Guardian...







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