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Senior UN official calls for lifting the siege of Gaza

President of the UN General Assembly Sam Kutesa and other top UN officials voiced their solidarity on Monday with the people of Palestine and called to lift the siege of the Gaza Strip.

The remarks came during a Special Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is annually observed on 29 November.

Kutesa highlighted that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip remains critical, with high rates of poverty and unemployment.

“The long-standing restrictions on the movement of people and goods continue to undermine the living conditions of the 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza and, therefore, the blockade should be lifted,” he stressed.

The International Day of solidarity marks the date in 1947 when the General Assembly adopted a resolution partitioning Palestine into two states, one Palestinian and one Jewish.

Since then, the Palestinian state has not been realised, whereas a Jewish state was immediately established with the help of the international community. To this day, millions of Palestinians in the region and around the world remain stateless refugees.

“Indeed, more than 5 million Palestinian refugees continue to experience exceptionally difficult circumstances,” the UN official reminded those attending the meeting.

Regarding the stalled peace process, Kutesa warned: “The peace process now hangs from a thread and the process of rapprochement seems to be slipping away. The lack of progress and the renewed tension require sustained attention.”

He also reiterated that the conditions in occupied Palestine and especially Jerusalem remain “volatile” and thus are “still a source of serious concern”.

“In light of the recent violent incidents that led to civilian deaths and injuries, I strongly condemn all acts of violence against civilians and attacks against religious sites,” he said.

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