Elders group: Israel's settlements undermine peace process

12:18, October 17, 2010      

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The resumption of Israel's settlement building is undermining the possibility to have a two-state solution, said head of the international Elders conflict resolution group, former Irish President Mary Robinson, Saturday.

Health, education and socioeconomic situations are not improving in the occupied territory, she said after her tour in the Gaza Strip. "Let us have justice peace and security for all."

A delegation of the Elders group, chaired by Robinson, arrived Saturday in Gaza via the Egyptian Rafah crossing to inspect the humanitarian situation of the besieged Palestinian territory and mobilize support to the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

The group including retired prominent world figures visited various facilities of the United Nations Works and Relief Agency which provides 1.2 million refugees in Gaza with food, health and education.

Robinson, currently the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged that Hamas must be involved in the peace process since it has full control over Gaza.

Robinson said she met with ousted Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya and discussed with him the situation in the Gaza Strip in light of the blockade as well as the latest developments of prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel.

Israel closed its borders with Gaza after the Hamas movement, Israel's bitter foe, won elections in 2006. The blockade was severely tightened following the Hamas violent takeover of the enclave in 2007.

Source: Xinhua


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