A UN human rights expert has deplored the construction of a wall along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip, terming it as a sign of complicity between Washington and Cairo.
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk denounced the construction of the steel wall which "is designed to interfere with the tunnels that have been bringing some food and material relief to the Gaza population."
"I’m very distressed by that, because it is both an expression of complicity on the part of the government of Egypt and the United States, which apparently is assisting through its corps of engineers with the construction of this underground steel impenetrable wall," Xinhua quoted Falk as saying.
Reports revealed earlier in December that Egypt was building an underground wall with a depth of 30 meters (100 feet) and 10 kilometers long (six miles) along the Rafah border.
The barrier has reportedly destroyed many tunnels along the border that have served as a crucial lifeline since Israel and Egypt sealed off the Gaza Strip from almost all vital aid after Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007.
"And of course, the underground tunnel complex itself is an expression of the desperation created in Gaza as a result of this blockade that’s going on now for two and a half years, something that no people since the end of World War II have experienced in such a severe and continuing form," he concluded.
Falk has called for economic sanctions against Israel in order to force the regime to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
"Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel," Falk told UN Radio.