Israel responsible for situation in Palestinian areas: Tutu

May 29th, 2008 - 9:46 pm ICT by admin  

Gaza, May 29 (DPA) Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Thursday that Israel bears responsibility for the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He slammed Israel’s closure of the salient, and also criticized militants who fire rockets at the Jewish state.

Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, he told a news conference in Gaza City, “has affected all aspects of life, mainly hospitals and roads.”

The former Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, is leading a United Nations fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 19 Palestinian civilians during an Israeli attack in November 2006.

Israel said a technical fault caused the two shells to hit two houses in the northern Gaza Strip, as Israeli artillery was pounding areas from which militants regularly fired rockets.

Israel has imposed a blockade on the Strip since June last year, when the Islamic militant Hamas movement seized security control of the enclave by routing forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.

Tutu, who met Tuesday Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, urged militants to put a halt to the daily rocket fire.

“Peace cannot be achieved through guns, it can only be achieved through talks, therefore when enemies sit down together on one table, as happened in South Africa, all problems would be resolved,” he said.

Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas until the Islamist organization changes its charter to accept Israel’s right to exist, something Hamas leaders have said they will never do.

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