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Argument: UN called Gaza blockade illegal human rights violation

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On January 24, 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a statement calling for Israel to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip, allow the continued supply of food, fuel, and medicine, and reopen border crossings.[1] According to the Jerusalem Post, this was the 15th time in less than two years the council condemned Israel for its human rights record regarding the Palestinian territories.[2] The proceedings were boycotted by Israel and the United States.

On December 15, 2008, following a statement in which he described the embargo on Gaza a crime against humanity, United Nations Special Rapporteur Richard A. Falk was prevented from entering the Palestinian territories by Israeli authorities and expelled from the region.[3] The Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Itzhak Levanon[4] said that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was "hopelessly unbalanced," "redundant at best and malicious at worst." [5]

In August 2009, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay criticised Israel for the blockade in a 34-page report, calling it a violation of the rules of war.[6]

In March 2010, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated that the blockade of Gaza is causing "unacceptable suffering" and that families were living in "unacceptable, unsustainable conditions".[7]

A UN Fact Finding mission lead by South African Judge Richard Goldstone suggested that the blockade was a war crime and possibly a crime against humanity:

"Israeli acts that deprive Palestinians in the Gaza Strip of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, that deny their freedom of movement and their right to leave and enter their own country, that limit their rights to access a court of law and an effective remedy, could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, has been committed." The Goldstone report recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court if the situation has not improved in six months.

In May 2010, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated that the formal economy in Gaza has collapsed since the imposition of the blockade.

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