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UN urges for an end to Gaza crisis to save civilians

August 11, 2017 at 7:49 pm

Candle light is the only accessible source of light to Palestinian kids due to power cut at the Jabalia Camp in Gaza City, Gaza on 27 June, 2017 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

A political crisis in Gaza is depriving two million people of electricity, vital medical care and clean water in sweltering summer temperatures, the United Nations human rights office said today.

It appealed to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza to resolve their conflicts.

We are deeply concerned about the steady deterioration in the humanitarian conditions and the protection of human rights in Gaza

UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a news briefing in Geneva.

“Israel, the State of Palestine and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza,” she said.

Read: Hamas considering plan to scale back civilian rule of Gaza

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007. Egypt, Gaza’s only other neighbour, maintains the blockade.

Hoping to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza, Abbas has cut payments to Israel for the electricity it supplies to Gaza.

Shamdasani said that at the height of summer, with soaring temperatures, electricity has often been provided for less than four hours a day, and never more than six since April.

“This has a grave impact on the provision of essential health, water and sanitation services,” she added.

Families buy only enough supplies for each day as they cannot store goods in refrigerators, especially meat and dairy products.

Hospital officials complain of acute shortages of medications. The Gaza health ministry says about 40 per cent of essential medicines have run out, especially for patients with cancer, cystic fibrosis and kidney failure.