June 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday called for international pressure on Israel to lift its three-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, a statement by his office said.

Abbas made his call during a meeting with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who is serving as an envoy to the Quartet committee of Middle East peace players.

"Mr. Abbas requested obliging Israel to lift the Gaza siege completely according to international resolutions," the statement said.

The Palestinian president also said recent Israeli decisions to allow more goods into Gaza "were not the solution to end the suffering of the Palestinians there."

Demands on Israel to ease the siege have increased following its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla on May 31.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said it will lift the ban on all civilian products but will keep restrictions on materials that have dual purposes.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians are in desperate need for reconstruction materials, especially cement and iron, to build houses that were damaged or destroyed during Israel's war in Gaza last year.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017