Ban urges prompt resolution as boats loaded with supplies head for Gaza

27 May 2010
Most of the damage from Israel's offensive in Gaza in 2009 remains unrepaired due to the blockade

As several boats loaded with relief supplies head for the Gaza Strip, the United Nations has urged all parties to press ahead towards resolving the problem.

Activists aboard several vessels are trying to deliver thousands of tons of materials directly by sea to Gaza, but Israeli authorities have warned they will not be allowed to land, according to media reports.

The office for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said that it is following these developments closely, strongly urging “that all involved act with a sense of care and responsibility and work for a satisfactory resolution.”

The UN has repeatedly spoken out against the closure of Gaza and raised concern over the insufficient flow of material into the area to meet basic needs and spur reconstruction.

“There has been a modest improvement in recent months but much more is required,” the office stressed, calling on Israel to allow a greater range and volume of goods through legitimate crossings into Gaza.

Earlier this week, the Secretary-General said that all parties should work towards ending closure and preventing illicit weapons smuggling, among other measures.

In a message to the start of the UN International Meeting in Support of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process under way in Istanbul, Turkey, he called for an end to the closure, stressing that it “creates unacceptable suffering, hurts forces of moderation and empowers extremists.”

 

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