A group of British non-governmental organizations has just called for an urgent end to sanctions against Gaza, and for Palestinian dialogue and reconciliation.
The report, issued collectively, is available on the Oxfam website.
It says that “The blockade has effectively dismantled the economy and impoverished the population of Gaza. Israel’s policy affects the civilian population of Gaza indiscriminately and constitutes a collective punishment against ordinary men, women and children. The measures taken are illegal under international humanitarian law. Israel has the right and duty to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks against its civilian population, but the current policy fails to provide Israel with increased security and has led to increasing polarisation … International efforts should be directed towards securing a swift end to the blockade of Gaza. Israel’s current policy of isolation and refusal to engage with all elements of the Palestinian leadership only closes doors to negotiations while reinforcing the political and humanitarian crisis. There is an urgent need for Palestinian dialogue and reconciliation in order to create and sustain a credible and effective peace process with Israel. The international community must provide the political support to facilitate such an undertaking. To date, failure to address the situation in Gaza has harmed both Palestinians and Israelis and has been detrimental to the broader peace process itself”.
The report also called “on the UK government and EU to ensure that the Israeli government lifts movement and access restrictions throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories to facilitate long-term Palestinian economic development”.
The EU is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority. The UK government is the only one from any European or major Western country to call — as it did at the end of January, and in early February — for a stop to the Israeli sanctions against Gaza, particularly the sanctions affecting fuel and electricity.
This report can be read in its entirety here .