Gaza in Worst Crisis in 40 Years, Charities Warn

Blockade destroying jobs, food supplies
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2008 5:19 AM CST
Palestinians inspect the devastation to their houses, after Israeli troops pulled out from the east of Jebaliya in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, March 4, 2008. Israeli ground troops pulled out of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As Israeli and Palestinian leaders tentatively prepared to resume peace talks, a new report by a coalition of British charities warns of a crushing humanitarian crisis in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The international consensus to isolate Hamas has led to unemployment, medical shortages and hunger worse than at any time since Israel's seizure of the Strip in 1967, they warn.

While the report by Amnesty International, Save the Children, Oxfam and other charities condemns Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel, it calls on Israel to reopen Gaza crossings and on the EU to open political dialogues with all Palestinian parties as a first step toward establishing a "credible" peace with Israel. Israeli and Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, began to make plans to resume peace talks, possibly this week, as bombs claimed the lives early today of an Israeli soldier and a Hamas gunman.