British lawmaker slams Gaza blockade
Photo: AFP
British lawmaker says Gaza blockade 'evil'
Gerald Kaufman leads visit to Gaza, says Israeli officials should be tried for war crimes

A lawmaker from Britain's Labor Party is visiting the Gaza Strip and says the blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory by Israel and Egypt is "evil."


Gerald Kaufman also spoke in support of attempts by pro-Palestinian groups in Britain to have arrest warrants issued against Israeli politicians involved in Israel's war on Gaza last winter.


Human rights groups have alleged Israel, along with Hamas, committed war crimes, citing among other things the use of white phosphorous flares in densely populated areas.


Kaufman said "anybody who uses white phosphorous should be arrested and should be tried for war crimes."


The lawmaker led a group of 60 parliamentarians from 13 European countries who arrived in Gaza Friday.

Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in 2006 following the Gaza border attack where IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive. The blockade has been tightened since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.


Recently, Egypt has taken steps to curb smuggling into the Strip from Rafah by embarking on the construction of an underground barrier, in the form of a steel wall.


Reuters contributed to the report


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