UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Israel's allies should threaten economic sanctions to persuade it to lift its blockade of Gaza, a U.N. official says.
Richard Falk, the United Nations' special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the start of the Israeli Operation Cast Lead incursion into Gaza with a statement calling on European and North American countries to use their economic leverage to pressure Jerusalem into ending the blockade.
"People of conscience everywhere, as well as governments worldwide and the United Nations, should take note of the dire situation in Gaza," Falk said. "The ordeal of the 1.5 million residents of Gaza affected by the Israeli blockade, over half of whom are children, has been allowed to continue without any formal objection by governments and at the [United Nations]."
Israel has allowed only basic humanitarian supplies into Gaza since Hamas took control in June 2007, citing the Palestinian militant group as a security threat.