PA calls on UN to urge Israel to lift Gaza blockade
The Palestinian foreign affairs on Sunday called upon the UN Security Council to take all measures to pressure Israel to abide by international humanitarian law and lift the siege on the impoverished Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority accused Israel of blocking efforts to stabilise the truce in the Gaza by tightening the siege and preventing the reconstruction process after an 11-day offensive in May.
Over two million people in the Gaza Strip "are paying heavy prices due to the endless Israeli blockade which ruined their daily living", the statement said, carried by PA's news agency Wafa.
"The Israeli blockade has led to sabotaging the lives of the Palestinian citizens and declining the level of basic services provided, under the pressure of Israeli delay and extortion."
In May, Israel launched an offensive on Gaza that killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 67 children. The flare-up in violence saw occupying warplanes decimate residential and commercial buildings, including those housing global media networks.
Over a decade of siege
In 2007, Israel imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on the strip, effectively turning the coastal enclave into an open-air prison, where basic necessities such as food, fuel and medicines are severely restricted.
Critics say the blockade, along with a periodic bombardment of Gaza, amounts to collective punishment of the coastal enclave's 2 million residents.
In 2014, the UN - along with four other human rights organisations - said that the Gaza Strip could end up becoming 'uninhabitable' because of Israeli policies. The decade-long siege has plunged hundreds of thousands of Palestinians into poverty.
Nearly 70 percent of Gaza's population is food insecure and around 80 percent of Palestinians in the besieged enclave are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.
Out of Gaza's 2 million population, 1.4 million are refugees whose ancestors were forced out of their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.