France calls Gaza ’open-air prison’
|Sunday, March 29,2009 12:50|
France has warned that the Gaza Strip cannot remain an "open-air prison" forever, urging Israel to lift the blockade on the territory.
Tel Aviv should "permanently" open Gaza"s border-crossings, said French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Eric Chevallier, IRNA repored.
The lifting of the Gaza blockade is a fundamental key to a long-lasting ceasefire and ending the crisis in the territory, he went on to say.
The French spokesman further urged Israel to permit the entry of humanitarian aid and merchandise so that the Gaza inhabitants could lead a normal life.
According to Chevallier, the European Union and France have been in contact with the Israeli authorities to convince them to open Gaza to humanitarian aid.
Israel has enforced a 20-month blockade on the Gaza Strip and has managed to cripple the costal strip"s economy with its recent war that inflicted over USD 1.6 billion in damage on the Gazans.
On December 27, Tel Aviv launched an all-out military strike on Gaza. Three weeks of constant air strikes and a ground incursion left over 1,350 Palestinians -- mostly civilians -- dead and around 5,450 people injured.