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UN Calls on Israel and Egypt to ease Gaza blockade

On Friday Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called on Israel and Egypt to "ease" restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Answering a question asked by a journalist, Haq said: "We are asking for restrictions [imposed on Gaza] to be eased."

He said that they UN had "made repeated entreaties to the parties [Israel and Egypt] to see what kind of normal, commercial traffic can be restored to Gaza."

Regarding the mass death penalty decided early last week by an Egyptian court against 529 people against the military coup in Egypt, Haq said that the UN had supported the steps taken by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Haq reaffirmed that there are certain measures regarding talks with Egypt underway, but he had nothing to "disclose" at that point. "We have made the call," he said.

Concerning the Al-Jazeera journalists, who have been arrested in Egypt, Haq said: "This has been a cause for concern. There are levels at which we are working on this, but in order to enhance the chances for success I really cannot provide any further details on that one."

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