A leading NGO has slammed the Israeli government’s so-called “humanitarian rehabilitation” plan for the occupied Gaza Strip as “feigned and simplistic”, and urged Israel to “recognise its own responsibility” for the “catastrophic impact of its own restrictive access regime”.
Gisha, which focuses on access restrictions for goods and people, was responding to an Israeli proposal that would see the international community foot the bill for a $1 billion plan, ostensibly intended to alleviate Gaza’s economic, social and health emergency.
According to the NGO, however, “true change in Gaza can only begin with recognition of Israel’s own responsibility toward the Strip and sincere intention for immediate action”.
The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, and subject to a severe and punitive blockade since the mid-2000s.
Gisha notes that Israel’s strategy includes “several initiatives that should sound familiar, as they have appeared numerous times before as pledges of support made by Israel”, such as “a water desalination plant and sewage treatment facility”. An increase in the supply of electricity sold to the Gaza Strip by Israel, has also “been discussed for several years”.
Gisha highlighted “the arbitrariness of blanket restrictions imposed by Israel”, noting how Israel’s blockade has seen Tel Aviv thwart the implementation of “many plans for Gaza’s reconstruction”, instead “obstructing them with delays, indiscriminate prohibitions, and impossible stipulations”.