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UN concerned about new Israeli restrictions on Gaza

July 11, 2018 at 10:33 am

Palestinian activists take part in a rally titled ‘Save Pal People’ against the Israeli occupation and Gaza blockade in front of a tower which was destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the summer of 2014

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nicolay Mladenov, has expressed his concern at the latest Israeli restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli-led siege for 12 years.

“I am concerned by the consequences of Israel’s decision to temporarily suspend imports and exports with the exception of basic humanitarian supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing,” Mladenov explained. “Humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the [Israeli] authorities to reverse this decision.”

The United Nations, he pointed out, is continuing its engagement with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, as well as regional and international partners, to reduce tensions, support intra-Palestinian reconciliation and resolve all humanitarian challenges. “This latest development must not divert us from this urgent course of action. Everyone must step back from the trajectory of confrontation and escalation.”

READ: Tightening the siege, Israel closes Gaza commercial crossings 

Mladenov appeared to be following the Israeli narrative when he added, “Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza should also do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations.”

Once again, say observers, Israel is seen by the international community to be reacting to Palestinian “provocation” when the reality is that the people of Gaza are simply exercising their legitimate right to oppose the military occupation of their land.