Aid groups say world must push for end to Gaza blockade

AP News
Posted: Apr 12, 2015 8:03 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A coalition of international aid groups says the world must change its approach to war-ravaged Gaza, including by demanding a lifting of the blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.

The Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) said Monday that reconstruction of thousands of homes and businesses destroyed in last summer's Israel-Hamas war has barely begun and that donor countries have so far only released one-fourth of $3.5 billion in promised aid.

The coalition calls for a "paradigm shift," urging the international community to pressure Israel to lift its border blockade, imposed after the Islamic militant group Hamas overran the territory in 2007. Egypt also enforces the border closure.

The report says a return to conflict, including "cycles of damage and donor-funded reconstruction," is inevitable with Gaza's economic, social and political instability.