Israel’s blockade of Gaza must end, says the Arab world’s top diplomat.
Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, is visiting the Gaza Strip two weeks after Israeli marines killed nine Turkish activists who were trying to break the blockade by delivering aid directly to Gaza.
Moussa’s presence is also a sign that hardline Palestinian group Hamas, which controls Gaza, is being brought in from the diplomatic wilderness. Moussa said:
“This blockade which we are all here to confront must be lifted and must be broken and the Arab League’s decision is very clear in this regard.”
Israel began the blockade three years ago to prevent weapons reaching Hamas and other factions in Gaza. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists humanitarian aid can pass into the Strip and that his government was still discussing ways of allowing this to happen more effectively.
Egypt had closed its border with Gaza in support of the blockade but reopened its Rafah crossing in the wake of the Israeli assault on the aid flotilla.
Even the United States, Israel’s closest ally, has called the blockade “unsustainable.”