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Israelis living along Gaza border write to UN's Ban urging lifting of blockade

The Palestinians formally asked the ICC earlier this year to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes during the 2014 Gaza war
Thomas Coex (AFP/File)
'Other Voice' group says ongoing humanitarian crisis in the enclave likely to fuel further violence

A group of Israelis living in communities along the border with the Gaza Strip wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, urging him to promote the lifting of Israel's blockade on the coastal enclave to ensure their Palestinian neighbors could lead their lives in "human conditions," local media reported.

According to a report on Mako, the internet portal of Israel's Channel Two News, the letter by the 'Other Voice' group stated they “have, over the years, addressed countless letters and petitions to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as other government officials,” to no avail. “We stressed that the siege is a ticking bomb for everyone involved, on both sides."

The petition said that the ongoing humanitarian crisis is likely to fuel further violence if not addressed.

Many of Gaza's 1.8 million residents are living in dire conditions after the 50-day war in July-August 2014 that killed 2,200 Palestinians, 73 people on the Israeli side, and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes.

The website of 'Other Voice' describes the group as "a grassroots volunteer initiative comprised of citizens from the communities bordering the Gaza border that knows that our violent reality can and must be altered."

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006 after Hamas captured an Israeli soldier, and tightened it a year later when Hamas consolidated its rule, to prevent weapons from being smuggled into the enclave.

It controls the waters around Gaza and residents are not allowed to travel more than six nautical miles from the coast.

Land crossings are also strictly controlled by Israel, apart from the Rafah checkpoint with Egypt.

As the reconstruction of thousands of homes destroyed during the fighting is progressing inadequately, Israel's blockade and a lack of support from international donors have been blamed.

Whereas Israel accuses Hamas of deploying materials delivered into the enclave to build underground tunnels leading into Israel and intended for carrying out terror attacks, rather than to restore residential homes.



"run out of Sderot"? That's what happened to the true inhabitans of Huj(renamed Sderot) by Jewish terrorists '48. "But at the end of May, given the proximity of the advancing Egyptian column, the Negev Brigade decided to expel the inhabitants – and then looted and blew up their houses.” - Benny Morris. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-suffering-of-sderot-how-its-true-inhabitants-were-wiped-from-israels-maps-and-memories-8348734.html

"Jewish terrorists of '48"? Who declared war on whom Michael?

""Jewish terrorists of '48"? Who declared war on whom Michael? " It certainly wasn't the peaceful villagers of Huj who had hidden fugitive Jewish militia from British troops several times previously, Neil. Ben Gurion had always planned forceful expulsion of Arabs from the land Israel sought, and expansion of whatever state he created ... also by force of arms. Hence the Nakba. Surely you were aware of that?

James, May 1948 Israel declared itself a state in Palestine where the Jews owned only 7% of the land. THIS was the 'casus belli' for the war. This act of aggression was the Zionist leadership’s unilateral declaration of the existence of Israel, and the Zionists’ use of violence to enforce their aims both prior to and subsequent to that declaration. Questions such as 'Have you stopped beating your wife?' don't contribute.

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