Jimmy Carter: Israel's blockade of Gaza "one of the most serious human rights violations on earth"

Via a press release from a delegation of The Elders now visiting the Middle East, we learn that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said today in Damascus: “My fellow Elders have briefed me on their visit to Gaza – which confirms my fears that the situation is deteriorating sharply for the people trapped there. The blockade is one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth and it must be lifted fully. Expectations across the region for the current talks between Israel and the Palestinians are very low. One of the foundations of hope is to see things getting better, but things are not improving”.

In addition, the leader of the Elders’ delegation, former Irish President [and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights] Mary Robinson said: “A far greater sense of urgency is needed. People are tired after almost two decades of talks. They keep telling us that there is too much focus on process and not enough on results. They are asking themselves whether the United States and the Quartet are more interested in managing the conflict than resolving it. As Elders, we believe the two-state solution has the potential to deliver peace – but a more energetic and comprehensive approach is needed”…

The Elders “are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace-building and help address major causes of human suffering”, their press release says.

Their website is here. In the coming days, they will be in Amman, Israel, and the West Bank. The current tour of this Middle East delegation ends on Friday 22 October.

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