UN rights chief says Gaza siege ‘illegal’
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says the Israeli imposed blockade of the Gaza Strip is “illegal and must be lifted.”
The United Nations official, Navi Pillay said on Saturday that “International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and … it is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on civilians.”
“I have consistently reported to member states that the blockade is illegal and must be lifted,” she added.
The comments came as Tel Aviv’s siege of the Gaza Strip is about to enter its third year. The Gaza siege has deprived the Palestinians of food, fuel and other necessities.
Pillay also repeated a call for a probe into Israel’s deadly attack on the multinational relief convoy, the Freedom Flotilla, which had set sail to challenge the siege.
The Monday attack in international waters 150 km (90 miles) off the coast of Gaza killed several activists and left scores more injured.
Also on Saturday, the Israeli military seized the Rachel Corrie, the aid ship which neared Gaza five days after the bloodshed.