UN human rights official urges end to Gaza blockade

in UN report, James Rawley says that continuing embargo will seriously harm the "livelihoods of families in Gaza."

July 4, 2013 13:19
A farmer in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza farmer370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

UN Humanitarian Coordinator James Rawley urged Israel to lift the Gaza blockade that has been in place since 2007, and to allow people and goods to move freely across the border.

"The cumulative impact of Israel's restrictions, some of which have been in place for more than a decade, has devastated the livelihoods of families in Gaza, such as farmers and fishermen," Rawley said, according to a UN report.

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The report estimated that Gaza has had a total economic loss of over $76 million since the blockade began.

The UN report also included an assessment which indicates that 57% of people in Gaza do not have money to buy sufficient food and 80% of families receive some form of international aid.

"These restrictions affect the poorest the most; they impede development of a sustainable economy and increase dependency on aid," Rawley added.

He also stressed that a continuation of restricted access to land and sea will put Palestinian farmers, fishermen and other civilians at serious risk.

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