Friday, October 16, 2009

Actress Mia Farrow voices outrage at Gaza blockade

American actress Mia Farrow said she was outraged at the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip because of the deplorable conditions it has created for children.

"All people of conscious are offended and outraged by this situation," Farrow told reporters in Gaza, as quoted by AP. "And we sincerely hope that measures will be taken to alleviate this situation as soon as possible."

Farrow visited Gaza in her role as goodwill ambassador for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In the territory she visited a school where said children appeared badly affected by Israel's recent war on the Gaza Strip.

"The children appear traumatized," she said at a news conference, according to AFP.

"The teachers say that when they hear a loud noise they (the children) look to the sky and cry out and weep. They don't know what the future holds," she said, speaking alongside Egyptian actor Mahmoud Kabil, also a UNICEF ambassador.

"They deserve better," she said, as quoted by AFP.

Later the same day, Farrow visited an elementary school in Sderot, southern Israel, where she reportedly met with the parents of children who were killed by projectile attacks fired from the Gaza Strip.

Farrow, the star of such films as Rosemary's Baby, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors, was named UNICEF's goodwill ambassador in 2000.

Israel, with Egypt's cooperation, has maintained a land, sea, and air blockade of the Gaza Strip since June 2007, severely limiting shipments of food, medicine, fuel, and hundreds of other essential supplies. In addition, Gaza's 1.5 million inhabitants are banned from travelling.

Last December Israel launched a three-week-long onslaught on Gaza that ultimately left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead, the majority of them women and children.

An Israeli ban on shipments of construction materials means that Palestinians have been prevented from rebuilding homes, government buildings and hundreds of other structures destroyed during by the Israeli military.

Source: Institute for Middle east Understanding

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