Palestinian children rally, calling on Obama to lift Gaza blockade

GAZA, March 16 (Xinhua) — Dozens of Palestinian children demonstrated in the Gaza Strip Saturday, calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to lift Israel’s blockade on the coastal enclave.

The demonstration was held in the southern city of Rafah on the 10th anniversary of the death of U.S. peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in 2003.

The children rose Palestinian flags and posters of Corrie, with banners reading “The Palestinian people love peace,” “We ask Obama to lift the siege” and “the United States should stop its support to Israel.”

Obama will visit Israel and the West Bank next week, and will try to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which came to a halt over a dispute on Jewish settlement activities in 2010.

In 2005, Israel withdrew its forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip. A year later, Islamic Hamas movement, which does not recognize Israel, won parliamentary elections and kidnapped an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid, after which Israel imposed economic restrictions on Gaza.

A year later, Hamas took over Gaza by force and then Israel tightened the sanctions into a near-total blockade.

Since 2010, Israel has started gradual relaxation of the closure on Gaza.

(Source / 16.03.2013)

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