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UN Envoy Blames Israel For Palestinian Humanitarian Crisis


A United Nations human rights envoy says Israel is largely responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian situation for Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

U.N. envoy John Dugard told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Tuesday that Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into a prison where three-quarters of the residents are dependent on food aid. He said life for citizens in Gaza is "intolerable" and "tragic."

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Itzhak Levanon rejected the allegations. He said the report does not reflect reality and places the entire blame on Israel.

Dugard also criticized the United States, Canada and the European Union for withdrawing funding to the Palestinian Authority in protest of the views of its governing party Hamas. Hamas refuses to accept Israel's right to exist.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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