German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says Berlin supports the end of Israel’s three-year blockade of the impoverished Gaza Strip.
“Germany has a clear vision. We support an end to this blockade. We stress the importance of the resumption of imports and exports,” he said on Monday.
Westerwelle made the remarks during his first visit to the coastal enclave after visiting a United Nations-run school and a sewage treatment facility in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City.
“There are 1.5 million people living in Gaza and this blockade is wasting their opportunities,” the German minister was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Israel has imposed a blockade on the region since June 2007, preventing the entry of hundreds of items, including essential industrial materials.
Israel’s list of banned imports still runs to 3,000 items and there are no regular exports from the territory.
Over 1.5 million Palestinians are living under the relentless Israeli blockade, which has now entered its fourth year.
The siege has caused a humanitarian disaster in the impoverished Gaza Strip, where many Palestinians are suffering from unemployment and poverty.