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Amnesty welcomes Assembly debate on Gaza blockade

Amnesty International has welcomed plans for a Northern Ireland Assembly debate this afternoon (Friday 4 June) calling for an end to the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director for Amnesty International Ireland, said:

"It is right and proper for the Northern Ireland Assembly to debate these issues. This week, legislatures around the world have been defending the rule of international law and so should ours. This is not a matter of what is or is not a devolved responsibility, it is a matter of standing up and being counted on the side of the rule of law.

"The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted to dispatch an independent, international probe into Monday's killings. The UN HRC resolution also called on Israel to immediately lift the blockade on Gaza. The Northern Ireland Assembly can play its part in asking the UK and Irish governments to press the Israeli authorities to cooperate fully with such an inquiry and to urgently end the blockade. The blockade is a form of collective punishment and so a breach of international law. It does not target armed groups; it punishes Gaza's entire population by restricting the entry of food, medical supplies, educational equipment and building materials."

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