Israel’s blockade and closure of Gaza will enter its tenth year in 2017. This blockade, imposed since June 2007, sees Israel control Gaza’s land, sea and airspace, placing restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza and badly damaging Gaza’s economy.
This week the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a reporthighlighting how the humanitarian situation in Gaza has continued to deteriorate as a result of these restrictions.
According to the report, of the 1.9 million Palestinian living in Gaza, 1.3 million are currently in need of humanitarian assistance, with 47% of households suffering from moderate to severe food insecurity. Furthermore, the unemployment rate in Gaza is now one of the highest in the world at almost 42%. Amongst young people it stands at 60%, and over 65% for women.
Roughly one third of Gazans applying for exit permits in order to receive medical treatment abroad in 2016 had their applications rejected or delayed (meaning patients missed their appointments) by the Israeli authorities.
Restrictions on freedom of movement have been exacerbated by the closure of the Rafah crossing by Egypt.
OCHA’s report underlines how the blockade prevents the realisation of a broad range of human rights for Palestinians, and contravenes article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits collective punishment. OCHA states that the responsibility for lifting the blockade lies with Israel as the occupying power.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has reported that only 10% of people in Gaza have access to safe drinking water, compared to 90% of Palestinians in the West Bank, due to insufficient water imports and the contamination of the local aquifer.
These reports are a stark reminder of the devastating impact Israel’s almost decade long blockade continues to have on Palestinians in Gaza. It’s now more important than ever that MAP continues it work aiding those most in need. If you would like to support MAP’s work in Gaza, please consider making a donation today.
You can also support our call for an end to the blockade by signing this petition today.
(Source / 28.11.2016)