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UN urges Israel to backtrack on closure of Gaza crossing

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Noor74NEW YORK (PNIC):-United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, called on Israel to reverse a decision imposing economic sanctions on the blockaded Gaza Strip, including the closure of the enclave’s only commercial crossing.

"I am concerned by the consequences of Israel's decision to temporarily suspend imports and exports with the exception of basic humanitarian supplies through the Karem Abu Salem crossing,” said Mladenov in a statement.

“Humanitarian assistance is no substitute for commerce and trade. I urge the authorities to reverse this decision.”

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, also expressed concern over the punitive measures imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities on Gaza, including the closure of the commercial crossing and sanctions on the import-export processes.

Israel claimed it imposed the sanctions to punish Hamas for the incendiary kites flown into Israeli settlements and which caused fire in border areas.

Incendiary kites and balloons have been launched into Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the Great March of Return protests, launched on March 30 at the Gaza border to call for Palestinians’ right of return to their motherland.

Gaza has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for over a decade, preventing vital supplies reaching Palestinians there.

The 11-year-long Israeli blockade has long prevented the Gaza Strip from receiving much needed humanitarian aid, including foodstuff, medical equipment, and clean water.

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