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Rights group: Siege has brought Gaza to the ‘edge of collapse’

April 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

Palestinian Bedouin boys play near their makeshift huts without water and basic living necessities in Gaza on 12 February 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip has brought the enclave to the brink of total collapse, a European human rights group warned today.

“The humanitarian situation of more than two million Palestinians trapped in Gaza is getting worse day after day,” said Ramy Abdu, director of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor in Geneva.

The policy of closure and siege imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip as a continuous approach has brought the sector to the brink of total collapse; as a result of the marked increase in the poor humanitarian conditions experienced by the population.

Abdu warned that Israel’s policies to restrict the movement of people and goods, to prevent travel permits for treatment, to restrict the entry of medicines and building materials, in addition to growing poverty and unemployment, “cast a serious shadow over the fate and future of the Palestinians”.

He pointed out that the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, “and the continuation of the siege will inflict severe psychological and social pressure on the population.”

Israel imposed a stifling siege on the Gaza Strip in 2007 limiting the movement of food, petrol, humanitarian supplies and building materials. This has been particularly catastrophic as it has also launched three wars on the blockaded Strip since the restrictions were introduced leaving Palestinians living in ruins, without a reliable electricity source or cooking gas.