UN ‘Concerned’ over Gaza Border Closure

The UN humanitarian coordinator on Wednesday warned that Israel’s increased restrictions on the Gaza Strip will seriously effect the civilian population.

Israel closed the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings on Monday after militants fired a rocket into southern Israel. After rocket fire in March, Israel reduced the fishing limit it imposes off Gaza’s coast from six to three miles.

“These measures are resulting in the depletion of stocks of essential supplies, including basic foodstuffs and cooking gas, and undermine the livelihoods and rights of many vulnerable Gazan families,” said James Rawley.

“If these restrictions continue, the effect upon the Gaza population will be serious,” the UN official said in a statement.

The popular committee to end the siege said Wednesday that 1,000 trucks bringing supplies for the Gaza Strip were stranded at Kerem Shalom.

Rights groups have criticized the Israeli restrictions as collective punishment.

Rawley said the UN expected Israel to exercise “maximum restraint and uphold international law, refraining from actions that would be punitive in nature or otherwise adversely impact the civilian population in Gaza.”

(Ma’an – maannews.net)

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