UN coordinator demands Israel reopen Gaza crossings

John Holmes says "blockade" of Strip is "unacceptable" and "disturbing."

By
March 4, 2010 04:06
1 minute read.
erez crossing barrier 88

erez crossing barrier 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza is “unacceptable,” and it should fully open the Gaza passages to goods, said UN humanitarian coordinator John Holmes on Tuesday.

“It is disturbing to see that more than a year after Cast Lead, the unacceptable blockade continues and all that we can offer to the people of Gaza is limited to temporary shelters and emergency assistance,” Holmes said at a press conference in Gaza, where he had gone as part of his four day trip to the region.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Holmes called on Israel to reopen the passages so the people in Gaza could lead normal lives.

Since his last visit to Gaza in the aftermath of the January 2009 IDF incursion, Holmes said, “there have been some marginal access improvements in some sectors during the past months, including the import of glass, which we welcome.”

However, “this falls far short of what is needed to rebuild livelihoods and avoid Gaza sliding backwards,” he said. “No meaningful reconstruction has started yet. I could see for myself today the continuing erosion of livelihoods and people’s ability to lead anything resembling a normal life.”

He told Al Jazeera that Gaza was “a kind of open air prison” where its people have suffered “collective punishment” for the last three years.

Israel’s policy of closing the passages to all but humanitarian goods is “ineffective,” has “resulted in misery” and is only breeding “despair,” he said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The passages were first closed by Israel once Fatah was no longer able to man the crossings on the Palestinian side because it had been ousted from the area by Hamas in 2007.

Since then, Israel has also linked the closures to the rockets that Gaza Palestinians launch against Israel and to the continued captivity of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Holmes called Tuesday for Hamas to release Schalit and at the very least to allow him to receive visits from the International Red Cross. But he rejected any link between the soldier’s captivity and the fate of the 1.5 million people living in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Holmes returned to Israel, where he met with former Meretz Party chairman Yossi Beilin, members of Israeli NGOs and representatives of UN agencies involved in humanitarian work.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The aftermath of an Iranian ballistic missile strike on the Koya headquarters of the KDP-I Iranian o
November 15, 2018
Senior IRGC commander: Israeli agent killed in September strikes on Kurds

By ANNA AHRONHEIM