Creating new perspectives since 2009

Yousef: By closing the final crossing, Israel is starving Gaza

July 21, 2018 at 9:44 am

Palestinian men carry food aid given by UNRWA in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2018 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

The Head of the Popular International Committee to Support the Gaza Strip, Essam Yousef, warned of the humanitarian consequences of the Israeli authorities’ closure of the Karm Abu Salem (Karem Shalom) border crossing on the population of Gaza.

“The catastrophic effects of closing the only commercial crossing by the occupation will be so comprehensive that the lack of food and basic life necessities will affect young and old people in the besieged Gaza Strip,” Youssef said in a press release.

He stated that “the danger will affect all neighbourhoods in the Gaza Strip.”

The occupation controls the arrival of food, drinks and medicines to Gaza residents. If it could, Israel would deny them the oxygen they breathe.

He stressed that the health sector, which is already reeling from the 12-year siege which Israel has imposed on the Strip, would be unable to survive the latest closure.

He explained that “weakening the hospitals and health centres’ capability to provide services to citizens in Gaza, and thus curbing their work, will increase the percentage of patients who will die as a result of the lack of treatment options.”

“The prevention of basic requirements, such as construction materials, clothing, textiles, electrical appliances, raw manufacturing materials and other necessities in any society would lead to the rapid collapse of the trade and industry sectors; thereby raising poverty and unemployment rates, which are already increasing to unprecedented levels as a result of the unjust siege that has been imposed for many years.”

Yousef stressed that “the Israeli occupation’s closure of the Karm Abu Salem border crossing is a form of collective punishment.

He called on the international community to put pressure on the occupation to stop the crimes against humanity that “it commits without deterrence”.

He called on “all countries, bodies, institutions, organisations and international federations to carry out their role in exerting pressure on the occupation by all means to prevent it from continuing its crimes and stop the cycle of death that has long been taking place in the Gaza Strip.”

Gaza patients appeal to the world to save their lives