GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – International Mideast envoy Tony Blair says the world has forsaken the Gaza Strip and is calling for a new approach regarding the war-battered territory.
On a visit to Gaza Sunday following last summer's war with Israel, the former British prime minister visited Palestinian families still taking shelter in a United Nations-run school.
Reconstruction efforts have been slow, and Blair said some donor countries have not fulfilled their funding commitments. Blair said the stagnation in reconstruction was a "crime."
He called for the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza, to clarify if it is part of a "broader Islamist movement with regional designs" or if it would accept a long-term peace alongside Israel.
He also called for a "radical change of approach" from Israel to lift trade restrictions on Gaza.