Abbas says US should pressure Israel to lift siege
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday told American envoy George Mitchell that Washington should press Israel to lift its siege of the Gaza Strip. "President Abbas insisted during the meeting on the need for a continuation of US efforts to achieve the complete end of the Gaza blockade," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina was quoted as saying by AFP.
He stressed that lifting the blockade would help restart direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Abbas condemned the blockade as "collective punishment" against Gaza's residents and dismissed as "insufficient" an easing of the measures announced by Israel earlier this week, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.