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50 aid groups demand end to Gaza blockade
Published Thursday 14/06/2012 (updated) 16/06/2012 11:17
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A woman in Gaza stands in front of buildings damaged by Israeli
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fifty international charities and UN agencies called Thursday on Israel to lift its years-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Marking the fifth anniversary of the siege, the organizations -- among them Amnesty International, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam, and Save the Children -- joined agencies like the World Health Organization, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights UNICEF and four other UN agencies in urging Israel to lift the siege "now."

"For over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under blockade in violation of international law. More than half of these people are children. We the undersigned say with one voice: 'end the blockade now,'" the petition said.

Israel imposed restrictions on trade to Gaza in 2001 following the outbreak of a Palestinian uprising and tightened them further in 2007 after Hamas took over in the coastal enclave adjacent to Egypt, which also enforces a blockade.

It has relaxed them over the past two years in the face of heavy international pressure, but insists on checking all goods entering the territory.

"All cargo going into Gaza must be checked because Gaza is controlled by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization," said Mark Regev, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Just this morning an Israeli farmer who was plowing his field was shot at from Gaza. Is it really fair to expect Israel to remove the restriction on military use items while the regime in Gaza is as hostile and aggressive as it is to Israel?"

Hamas's founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel, but its leadership has raised the possibility of entering into a prolonged truce with Israel after years of bloodshed.

Reuters contributed to this report
1 ) Mel / USA
14/06/2012 15:54
Be very careful with these international "charities"?Many are manipulated by USG banksters(WHO),whose "interests" are far from political?
When ALL these charities suddenly group to 'demand'anything,from USG-protected Nazi-Israel, for Gaza,there has to be a motive(Egypt?Syria?US POTUS elections pending?)? So be careful GAZANS,'at what(high)price',comes(conditional)"freedom"?Sectarian war orchestrated inSyria. Sunni on Shia! RECRUITING TIME, by M/B,for USG/Zionist proxies? CAREFUL,people?

2 ) Arnold / Canada
14/06/2012 21:54
Gazans have no mind of their own. Hamas speaks and everyone listens or else.......

3 ) Joe Fattal / USA
14/06/2012 21:55
Lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza means giving Gaza its independence. Israel will not allow it. Literally Gaza is still occupy even with a fence, because part of Palestine is still occupy and settlements are still being build.

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
14/06/2012 23:15
The only way to unblock Gaza is for: 1) Hamas to officially recognize the peace process 2) Hamas to enforce international law and stop all groups from shooting at Israeli civilians like they've been doing for over a decade (another mortar round fired early today). As Mel says, pigs will fly before Hamas obeys international law.

5 ) shirley / australia
15/06/2012 05:47
the Gaza blockade has been lifted only Junta retightened it and but is still haklf open and these agencies only now speaking out because they want to alter the truth and say it has not been lifted at all and because the fact that NATO invaded Libya on a pack of lies people openly cross rafah now and only thing no import export due to Isreal PA defunct peace accord

6 ) Julie / USA
15/06/2012 22:09
many NGO's have released a statement that the water in the Gaza strip is UNFIT for human consumption. they say that the water cannot be consumed by human beings because it's contaminated with chemical manure and waste-water. such collective punishment is a WAR CRIME, it's one of many ways IZRAEL MURDERS INNOCENT PEOPLE.

7 ) Mel / USA
15/06/2012 23:53
#4:Brian: Dude!Don't presume 2 speak 4 me! Re: 'pigs flying' &(dis)'obeying' international laws?? Well,Zionism,& its pawn Israel,hold the "Nobel" on that criminality. USG/Israel(1990's)made Hamas what it is(today)in order to fracture Fatah/PLO.Using Islamists to FRACTURE democratic Arab UNITY & any chance of a Palestinian state.Now the PA is the "favored"secular puppy of division! But,Israel remains the great usurper of comm/internl LAWS! At least Hamas resists!As is their HUMAN RIGHT under LAW!

8 ) JohnWV / United States
16/06/2012 00:48
Five million Palestinians are now refugees because of purposeful, malicious and illegal violence of the racist apartheid Jewish state. A pariah among nations. Justice demands that UN and NATO impose resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations. The Jewish State must recognize an armed Palestine with externally enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jeru

9 ) Sheila Baker / USA
16/06/2012 06:51
The perpetrator of the crimes is Israel: the miitary, the government, the zionists, the settlers, the imprisoners, the home demolishers, the farm burners, the fishermen harassers, the ancient olive tree destroyers, the rascists, the apartheid'ers, the dirty contaminted water suppliers, the tear gas throwers, the US $30 billiion weapons spenders and users, the cheerleaders for the 911 disaster, the Mavi Marmara killers, the Rachel Corrie killers, the spies of the US...

10 ) David / Canada
19/06/2012 01:22
The 4thGeneva Convention specifically prohibits collective punishment. Article 33 provides: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”’ If Israel really wants to protect the security of its citizens from rocket attacks, the most effective thing it can do would be to lift the blockade immediately and completely. (Efraim Halevy, former Mossad head, 2009).

11 ) Gaymer Kharken / Malaysia
20/06/2012 08:09
To the Israel bashers: Where were you pre 1967 when Gaza was incarcerated by Egypt, to live in squalor and allowed to fester?
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