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EU diplomats call on Israel to end Gaza siege

Ambassadors from nearly two dozen European Union countries have called for an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave has been hard hit by the inhumane siege.

The 22 envoys made the call on Tuesday following a visit to Gaza to assess its reconstruction, the first such trip to the coastal enclave over the past two years.

Ralph Tarraf, the head of the EU delegation to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, urged the Tel Aviv regime to lift the blockade on Gaza and underline the need for "steps to bring about a political, security and economic change."

Since June 2007, the Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege that has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

Tel Aviv has waged three wars on the coastal enclave since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.

Back in September, the World Bank published a gloomy report on the Palestinian economy, criticizing the Israeli restrictive measures as an impediment to Palestine's financial growth.

According to the report, only 10.7 percent of the 11,000 houses that were totally destroyed during the Israeli war had so far been rebuilt while about 50 percent of homes partially and severely damaged are still awaiting repair.

 

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