Gaza MP calls for fresh anti-siege rallies

A Palestinian lawmaker has called on Arab and international campaigners to rally against Israel's ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip

A Palestinian lawmaker has called on Arab and international campaigners to rally against Israel's ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip

GAZA CITY – A Palestinian lawmaker has called on Arab and international campaigners to rally against Israel's ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip on the fourth anniversary of Israel's attack on a Turkish aid flotilla that had attempted to break the eight-year-old embargo.

"All supporters of the cause must actively participate in rallies in and outside Palestine to demand an end to the Gaza siege," MP Gamal al-Khodari, who also leads the Popular Committee to Break the Gaza Siege, said Wednesday.

Israel has blockaded the Gaza Strip since 2006, depriving the territory's roughly 1.8 million inhabitants of their most basic needs.

"More than one million Palestinians entirely depend on relief and aid," al-Khodari said, adding that the unemployment rate in Gaza had soared to over 50 percent.

In May 2010, Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish nationals – and a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent – when they attacked the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters.

The ill-fated ship had been part of a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials to Gaza.

The event sparked international outrage and led to a deterioration of Turkish-Israeli ties.

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