UN asks Israel to end blockade on Gaza (Lead)
New York, June 1 (DPA) The top foreign policy official of the UN Monday asked Israel to end its “counterproductive” and “unacceptable” blockade on Gaza.
The UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, Argentina’s Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, further said in an emergency UN Security Council meeting that Monday’s attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla off Gaza’s coast would not have happened without the blockade.
The call to end the blockade was also made by the British and Brazilian ambassadors before the UN.
Fernandez-Taranco spoke at the meeting on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Echoing Ban’s comments earlier from Uganda, Fernandez-Taranco called for a thorough investigation of events. He noted that the incident happened when all efforts should be focusing on confidence-building and on promoting talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
Brazil’s Ambassador to the UN, Maria Luiza Ribeiro
Viotti, asked for an “immediate” end of the blockade, and described the attack on the aid flotilla as “deplorable”. She further requested an “independent” probe of the events.