The United Nations' top human rights official says the Israeli blockade of Gaza is depriving Palestinians of their most basic human rights.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Tuesday called for an immediate, full lifting of the blockade. She said it should be followed by a strong humanitarian response to relieve what she called the massive humanitarian suffering in Gaza.
Pillay said 1.5 million Gazans have been forcibly deprived of their rights, in direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law.
Israel's Foreign Ministry dismisses Pillay's assessment as misinformed.
Earlier today, Israel said it will keep all border crossings with the Gaza Strip closed today because of Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel.
The U.N. High Commissioner condemned the Palestinian attacks, and appealed for both sides to stop fighting.
Israel shut its border crossings with Gaza after fighting erupted earlier this month between Israeli troops and Gaza militants. The blockade has led to shortages of food and fuel in the aid-dependent Palestinian territory.
Israel allowed a humanitarian aid convoy of 33 trucks into Gaza on Monday. The French news agency says U.N. aid workers were able to resume distributing aid to Gazans today. But it quotes relief workers warning that supplies will run out again in days.
Meanwhile, a member of the Israeli parliament has joined Jewish settlers in defying a High Court order to leave a house in the West Bank city, Hebron.
Nissim Zeev of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party today moved into the disputed house in a symbolic protest against the expulsion order.
On Sunday, Israel's Supreme Court ordered the settlers to leave the building within three days.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.