Wednesday, May 06
Latest News
  1. IMF says Greece may need debt relief
  2. US authorizes commercial ferry services to Cuba
  3. EU: Iran nuclear talks to resume May 12 in Vienna
  4. UN: Fatalities in ambush on peacekeepers in eastern DR Congo
  5. UNICEF: C. Africa armed groups pledge to free thousands of children
  6. Burundi constitutional court judge says he has fled country
  7. Obama to nominate Gen. Dunford as next Joint Chiefs chairman
  8. Tsunami threat as 7.4 magnitude quake hits Papua New Guinea
  9. Reality on ground in Yemen unchanged weeks into air war
  10. Kerry warns Burundi president's third term bid is unconstitutional
  11. Italy's parliament approves radical new electoral law
  12. French leader oversees Qatar jet deal
  13. Iran's Rouhani says not for police to enforce Islam
  14. Kerry to visit Saudi Arabia, France for security talks
  15. Activist: 2 shot dead in Burundi protests
  16. Israel PM urges action on racism in talks with Ethiopian Jews
  17. Palestinian shot after alleged Jerusalem stabbing attempt
  18. Palestinian building permits 'political', admits Israel
  19. Israel's Lieberman says will not join next govt
  20. France's Hollande in Qatar for warplane deal

UN: Israeli forces killed 2,300 in Gaza under blockade

June 15, 2012 9:25 A.M. (Updated: June 16, 2012 3:06 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have killed nearly 2,300 Palestinians and injured 7,700 in Gaza over the last five years, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Thursday.

Some 27 percent of the fatalities in Gaza were women and children, the UN agency said in a report highlighting the effects of Israel's blockade.

The land, sea and air blockade of Gaza entered its sixth year on Thursday.

Under the blockade, exports have dropped to less than 3 percent of 2006 levels.

"The continued ban on the transfer of goods from Gaza to its traditional markets in the West Bank and Israel, along with the severe restrictions on access to agricultural land and fishing waters, prevents sustainable growth and perpetuates the high levels of unemployment,

food insecurity and aid dependency," UNOCHA said.

Israel's naval blockade has undermined the livelihood of 35,000 fishermen, and farmers have lost around 75,000 tons of produce each year due to Israeli restrictions along Gaza's land border, it added.

Meanwhile, Israeli restrictions on imports have led to the growth of the smuggling trade. At least 172 Palestinians have been killed working in tunnels under Gaza's border with Egypt, the report said.

Despite the risks, young men are still drawn to tunnel work in Gaza, where more than half the youth is unemployed and 44 percent of people are food insecure.

Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Thursday that the blockade was necessary because Gaza's ruling party Hamas is a "terrorist organization."

"All cargo going into Gaza must be checked because Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization," Regev told Reuters in response to a petition by 50 aid groups, including six UN agencies, calling on Israel to lift the blockade.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015