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UNRWA chief urges Israel to end Gaza blockade
Published Monday 26/11/2012 (updated) 27/11/2012 16:30
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Palestinian fishermen ride in fishing boats at Gaza Seaport in Gaza
City November 25, 2012. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The commissioner-general of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Monday urged Israel to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Fillipo Grandi, speaking to UNRWA's advisory commission, called for "the illegal Israeli blockade to be lifted in all its aspects - crossings, fishing zones, imports, exports - with proper guarantees given to and by all parties in respect of the security of all civilians," UNRWA said in a statement.

Grandi urged all parties to "seize the opportunity" provided by Wednesday's ceasefire in Gaza, calling the conflict a "tragic escalation."

"The greatest danger is to return to the status quo ante, and restore the prison-like conditions of Gaza. If this happened, it would be only a matter of time till violence resumed."

The crisis in Gaza was about the wider unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Grandi said.

The UNRWA chief also briefed the commission about the situation for Palestinian refugees in Syria, saying that "concerns about the welfare of the half million Palestine refugees there have grown as they are increasingly affected by the conflict."

"UNRWA's strategy in Syria, as in Gaza," he said, "is to be there, maintain services and address the growing emergency needs as much as possible."

Wednesday's ceasefire deal ended eight days of fierce fighting that left some 170 Palestinians and six Israelis dead. Over 1,000 Palestinians were injured in the assault, with severe damage caused to civilian infrastructure in Gaza.
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1 ) ;et them have / more FAJR 5
26/11/2012 19:26
missiles

2 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
26/11/2012 19:33
UNRWA should be working to get the concrete for a border wall like the Israeli West Bank Wall. The purpose would be to stop bullets and talk shells from hurting people in their farm land near the border. UNRWA and the PLO/PA could just announce it as a peace gesture. Then start working on goods opening for Rafah, without EU inspectors, like a real country.

3 ) Carlos / usa
26/11/2012 20:17
israel cannot find the Palestinians. It is not like there are not millions of them in and around israel. One problem is israel keeps trying to make peace with Arabs in general. The real problem with this strategy is israel has no disagreements with Saudi Arabia or Iraq or Egypt or Libya or Tunisia or Algeria or Morroco.

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
26/11/2012 20:46
THE ONLY WAY to end the Gaza Blockade IS to end the State of War,
with A signed PEACE TREATY, like the signed Oslo Accords, and so
the UNRWA chief, who knows that Israel will sign such a treaty, should urge Hamas to consider peace, rather than one calm/"Hudna" after another !!!
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