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Last Update: 14 Hour and 13 Minute ago
News code: 26016
Published Date: Wednesday 11 July 2018 - 11:27:28

UN envoy urges reopening of Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza

UN envoy urges reopening of Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza
World  - The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East urged Israel to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza on Tuesday, saying the Strip needed commerce and trade.

Nickolay Mladeno's appeal comes a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the move, claiming the it is a response to the incendiary kites and balloons sent over from Gaza.

"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 said in a statement. "Humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the authorities to reverse this decision."

Kerem Shalom, the only cargo crossing between Gaza and Israel, has been subject to a strict blockade for the past 11 years. Egypt also tightly controls the nearby Rafah border crossing into the Sinai.

Mladenov also called on Hamas other Palestinian factions in Gaza to "do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing provocations."

The envoy said that the UN was working "with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, as well as regional and international partners, to reduce tensions, support intra-Palestinian reconciliation and resolve all humanitarian challenges."

He stressed that the latest development "must not divert us from this urgent course of action."

On Monday Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the closure of the crossing a "crime against humanity."

He also criticized the international community of being silent on "the crime of the suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip," and called on it to take "immediate action" to end the blockade of the Strip.


News Code: 26016
Published Date: Wednesday 11 July 2018 - 11:27:28
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