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United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the OPT
10 April 2013
United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator expresses concern regarding the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip
Jerusalem, 10 April 2013
In response to a deteriorating security situation in and around Gaza, in recent weeks Israel has announced a series of heightened restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from the Gaza Strip, including closures of the Kerem Shalom crossing.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. James W. Rawley, expressed serious concern regarding the impact of these restrictions on the civilian population. "These measures are resulting in the depletion of stocks of essential supplies, including basic foodstuffs and cooking gas, and undermine the livelihoods and rights of many vulnerable Gazan families”, said Mr. Rawley. “If these restrictions continue, the effect upon the Gaza population will be serious".
Since 26 February 2013, Israel has imposed new restrictions on the movement of people and goods to, from and within the Gaza Strip. Since 21 March these restrictions have also included a reduction in the fishing limit from six to three nautical miles. Approximately 3500 families in Gaza rely on the fishing industry as their main source of income.
We expect Israel, in any response to unacceptable rocket fire, to exercise maximum restraint and uphold international law, refraining from actions that would be punitive in nature or otherwise adversely impact the civilian population in Gaza. The United Nations will continue to support Egyptian efforts to restore the calm and fully implement the ceasefire understanding as the only viable way to address the unsustainable situation in Gaza.
Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
Public Information and Media Unit