UN urges Israel to reverse decision on partial closure of commercial crossing with Gaza

JERUSALEM, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, Tuesday called on Israel to reverse a decision imposing economic sanction on the Gaza Strip through partial closure of its 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 Kerem Shalom (Karm 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.

Israel said it imposed the sanctions to punish Hamas, which is in control of Gaza, for the incendiary kites flown into Israel and which cause fire in border areas.

The UN official called on Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza to also do their part by maintaining calm, stopping incendiary kites and preventing other provocations.

He stressed that the United Nations is continuing its engagement with Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, as well as regional and international partners, to reduce tensions, support intra-Palestinian reconciliation and resolve all humanitarian challenges. This latest development must not divert us from this urgent course of action.

Everyone must step back from the trajectory of confrontation and escalation,” concluded Mladenov.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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