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‘The occupation is acting without deterrence in Gaza,’ says head of Gaza committee

Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli security forces during the 14th week of the Great March of Return at the Gaza-Israel border on 29 June 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
Palestinian protestors clash with Israeli security forces during the 14th week of the Great March of Return at the Gaza-Israel border on 29 June 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Dr. Essam Yousef, head of the Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip, has stated that the suffering of Gaza is “complex” and that the Israeli authorities are following a “lawless” policy in the Gaza Strip without being deterred by the international community which adopts laws and legislation that contradict the actions of the occupying state.

“The occupation is acting as if it reigns in the Gaza Strip, doing whatever it likes with Gaza’s land and inhabitants, including [enforcing the] siege, starving, and killing [people]. The occupation is trying to impose the will of the most powerful who seeks to subjugate the weak and control his fate in a way very much similar to the law of the jungle,” said Youssef during a press release.

“He who sees the practices of occupation in the Gaza Strip can hardly believe that this world is regulated by a system of laws and legislation that preserve human rights, and regulate the relationship of political entities among themselves in a way that guarantees the dignity and existence of everyone.”

“However, despite the existence of the aforementioned international laws, in addition to mechanisms that enable the enforcements of these laws, especially when it comes to providing protection to individuals or people under oppression, such mechanisms become useless when it comes to defending the Palestinian people’s cause and the Gaza Strip in particular.”

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“The siege imposed by the Israeli occupation on Gaza is immoral and inhuman and has been ongoing for more than 11 years. The innocent people living in the Gaza Strip are paying the cost without any real and active reaction on the part of the international community to stop it and put an end to this human tragedy, “said Youssef.

Palestinians mourn during the funeral ceremony of Razan Ashraf Najjar, 21, a female paramedic who was shot dead by Israeli forces while healing wounded demonstrators during 'Great March of Return' protests in Khan Yunis on Friday, in Huzaa neighbourhood of Khan Yunis, Gaza on June 02, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians mourn during the funeral ceremony of Razan Ashraf Najjar, 21, a female paramedic who was shot dead by Israeli forces while healing wounded demonstrators during ‘Great March of Return’ protests in Khan Yunis on Friday, in Huzaa neighbourhood of Khan Yunis, Gaza on June 02, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency]

Youssef pointed out that “the occupation is tightening the siege from time to time in order to further suffocate and starve the people living in the Strip, until it got to the point of closing all ports of entry, through which an insufficient amount of basic supplies can be provided, following the arbitrary decision to close the Kerem Shalom border crossing.”

He highlighted that data confirm banning the entry of hundreds of basic necessities into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing since its closure has been announced, thus resulting into a complete paralysis, and then a humanitarian disaster.

“Isn’t the occupation satisfied with what happened to the residents of the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the siege, and until now? Aren’t the hundreds of patients who died because of the occupation’s decision to prevent them from getting treatment as a result of the siege enough? Aren’t the rates of unemployment among young people in Gaza which reached about 49 per cent, in addition to poverty rates among the population which amounted to 53 per cent enough?,” Youssef asked.

Read: Gaza patients appeal to the world to save their lives

“Not to mention the percentage of the dependence of the people in Gaza on humanitarian aid, which is now more than 80 per cent of the population in addition to the lack of food security, which amounted to 72 per cent, as well as the lack of potable water and the proportion of consumption of non-potable water which has reached 95 per cent.”

“On top of all this, the occupation is waging repeated wars on the Gaza Strip, which took the lives of thousands of martyrs and wounded thousands of others, most of which were children, women and the elderly,” Youssef added.

He stressed that the occupation does not recognise the Palestinians’ right to express their rejection of this huge amount of oppression and tyranny. Meanwhile, it is using its weapons and sophisticated missiles against the innocent residents of the Strip in case they resist injustice.

He pointed out that all international laws and regulations, and our innate human nature, give the oppressed the right to resist injustice, defend itself, and fight for restoring its rights. The restoration of one’s rights can never be something granted by the occupation, which can give or take it whenever it wishes.

During his speech, Youssef called for intensifying diplomatic and political action at all levels, Palestinian, regional and international, in order to put an end to the siege tragedy on Gaza and stop human suffering in the Strip.

He stressed that security, stability, and peace can only be achieved through the recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people, foremost of which is the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state on its national soil with Jerusalem as its capital.

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