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 Opinion

As The Elders arrive in Gaza

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Saturday, 16 October, 2010

Mary Robinson argues that the continued isolation of Gaza is immoral, inhumane and completely counterproductive.

A crucial message that we as Elders want to convey during our visit to the Middle East is the importance of ending the isolation of Gaza.

The Elders wanted to come to Gaza last year, and we were disappointed then that we were unable to do so.

As we travel into Gaza this morning I am thinking of the 1.5 million people, half of them children, trapped by Israel's blockade and the international community's failure of conscience and policy.

Not only is the Gaza blockade contrary to international law, I believe it is immoral, inhumane and completely counterproductive.

We will have more to say once we have had a chance to meet a wide range of people on the ground, including the local Hamas leadership that governs the Gaza strip. While we may not agree on many things - it is important if peace is ever to be achieved in this region that all voices are heard.

For now I am thinking of the last time I was in Gaza, just before the war at the end of 2008.

Much has happened since, and I fear that I will be shocked by the damage, but all the more determined to press for a total lifting of the blockade.

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