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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Haniyeh: No longer any justification for siege

Published yesterday (updated) 22/11/2011 22:47
Ismail Haniyeh said the capture of an Israeli soldier was used as a pretext.
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Tuesday called on Israel to end its siege of the Gaza Strip in light of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Speaking at an event to welcome the Arab Spring convoy, which delivered medical aid to the coastal enclave, Haniyeh noted that Israel had claimed it tightened the blockade because Shalit was held captive in Gaza.

The soldier was released in October in a swap deal between Hamas and Israel.

"There's no justification for this siege, however, the occupation justified it with the presence of Shalit in Gaza. Now that Shalit is back with his family, what's the justification for the siege?"

Haniyeh said the convoy's arrival was a step toward breaking the siege on the civilian population of Gaza, and stressed that the Palestinian problem was not humanitarian but political, noting that it began with Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

The delegation of international activists, including lawmakers and revolutionary leaders, indicated that Israel was becoming increasingly isolated, he added.

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