JERUSALEM (AFP) - Amnesty International on Monday accused Israel of collectively punishing the population of the Gaza Strip with border closures tightened after the Hamas movements 2007 takeover. The British-based rights group said the firing of rockets by Palestinians - which the Israeli military says has dropped by about 90pc since its offensive in Gaza last year - did not justify the sanctions. The blockade does not target armed groups but rather punishes Gazas entire population by restricting the entry of food, medical supplies, educational equipment and building materials, said Malcolm Smart, the groups Middle East and North Africa director, in a statement. The blockade constitutes collective punishment under international law and must be lifted immediately. The Amnesty said Egypt was partly to blame because it only occasionally opens its Rafah crossing with Gaza - the only terminal bypassing Israel. It also faulted Cairo for starting work on an underground border wall in a bid to halt the smuggling tunnels that have become an economic lifeline to the territory but are also used by Hamas to smuggle in weapons and money. However, as the occupying power, it is Israel that bears the foremost responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the inhabitants of Gaza, the Amnesty said. Monday (today) is the one-year anniversary of the Israeli offensive on Gaza, which killed some 1,400 Palestinians and flattened entire neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas urged Washington on Sunday to declare an endgame to resolve the decades-old Middle East conflict if Israel does not agree to halt settlement growth. Abbas, in a statement carried by the official Wafa wire service, said Arab states and the Palestinians would present a unified position to the US offering two options. Either Israel adheres to a complete halt to settlements and the guidelines (of negotiations) or America must come and say this is the endgame with respect to determining borders and the refugee issue and other final-status issues. Israels hardline Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, however, said on Sunday that his country would make no more gestures towards the Palestinians. As far as we are concerned, we have exhausted our arsenal of gestures. There will be no more gestures. Right now, it is time for gestures from the Palestinians, he told a Press conference.