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Brian Eno, Viggo Mortensen and others urge Israel to end Gaza blockade amid coronavirus pandemic Open in fullscreen

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Brian Eno, Viggo Mortensen and others urge Israel to end Gaza blockade amid coronavirus pandemic

Israel has enforced its blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007 [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 May, 2020

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Over 200 prominent musicians, actors, filmmakers, authors and more signed on to an open letter urging Israel to end its blockade of Gaza during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Brian Eno and Viggo Mortensen were among a long list of prominent figures urging Israel to lift its siege of the Gaza Strip during the Covid-19 crisis in an open letter published Wednesday.

Echoing calls by Amnesty International, more than 200 musicians, actors, filmmakers, authors and others signed onto a letter stating Israel's siege of Gaza "must be ended".

"With the pandemic, Gaza’s almost two million inhabitants, predominantly refugees, face a mortal threat in the world’s largest open-air prison," the letter read.

The letter noted the Israeli siege's obstruction of the flow of much-needed medical equipment and personnel, as well as humanitarian aid.

"Well before the ongoing crisis, Gaza’s hospitals were already stretched to breaking point through lack of essential resources denied by Israel’s siege," the letter continued. "Reports of the first cases of coronavirus in densely-populated Gaza are therefore deeply disturbing." 

"We may be staying at home, but our ethical responsibility shouldn’t," it concluded.

The signatories included musicians such as Brian Eno, Massive Attack, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Vic Mensa. Actors Viggo Mortensen, Alia Shawkat, Steve Coogan and Julie Christie have also added their names to the letter.

In March, a group of US senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, submitted a letter urging President Donald Trump's administration to supply aid to the Palestinians during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The World Health Organization has said that Israeli restrictions and political tensions have led to the deterioration of health facilities in Gaza, a densely populated and impoverished enclave.

Israel has enforced its blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007.

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