A coalition of humanitarian groups has called for international pressure on Israel to lift its siege of the Gaza Strip as the blockade continues to persist.
The group, comprised of 22 development, human rights and peace-building organizations, urges in a Tuesday report for an unconditional and immediate removal of the siege, AFP reported.
Imposed in mid-June 2007, the all-out land, aerial and naval restrictions have been depriving 1.5 million Palestinians in the impoverished territory of food, fuel and other necessities.
In July, the Israeli regime had pledged to relax the restrictions.
"Only a fraction of the aid needed has made it to the civilians trapped in Gaza by the blockade," said Jeremy Hobbs, director of the rights confederation Oxfam International, in a joint statement accompanying the report.
In May, Israeli military forces attacked the Freedom Flotilla, an international Turkish-backed relief mission, which had set sail to break the siege. The fleet was carrying approximately 750 human rights activists and around 10,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment and school supplies, which were diverted to the Israeli port of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv.
The attack in international waters killed nine Turkish activists and injured about 50 others, prompting an international outcry.
The unyielding embargo by Tel Aviv persists while Gaza is far from recovering from the December 2008 Israeli war that killed over 1,400 Palestinians, inflicting a damage of above $1.6 billion on the enclave’s economy.