Ban urges Israel to change its Gaza policies
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Israel's decision to ease the land blockade of the Gaza Strip, but said a "fundamental change" was needed to improve living conditions in that territory.world Updated: Jun 19, 2010 07:59 IST
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed Israel's decision to ease the land blockade of the Gaza Strip, but said a "fundamental change" was needed to improve living conditions in that territory.
Israel decided to lift some of the restrictions imposed on crossing points with Gaza, following worldwide criticism of its military raid of the Turkish-led humanitarian flotilla on May 31, which killed nine people onboard one of the three ships.
"I am encouraged that the Israeli government is reviewing its policy, and by its recent decision to allow more goods (into Gaza)," Ban said on Friday.
"Nevertheless, much more is required to really meet the needs of the people," he said. "I continue to call for a fundamental change in the policies that apply to Gaza."
Ban said Israel's decision to form a public commission to investigate the flotilla incident is "important". But he reminded the Jewish state that the UN Security Council had called for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent investigation conforming to international standards".
"I have proposed an international panel, under the aegis of a third party and in which both Turkey and Israel would actively participate," Ban said. "I will continue my efforts to achieve this."
First Published: Jun 19, 2010 07:57 IST