An Israeli human rights NGO has told international donors that economic recovery in the occupied Gaza Strip will be impossible unless Israeli authorities lift long-standing restrictions on movement.
In a press released issued yesterday ahead of a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in New York, Gisha highlighted the results of a new World Bank report submitted to the committee, which documents deteriorating conditions in the blockaded territory.
“Gaza’s water, electricity and sanitation infrastructure as well as its healthcare system face exceptional challenges,” Gisha stated, adding that “Gaza’s already deficient infrastructure is under constant risk of collapse.”
According to Gisha, while Israel has previously agreed “to advance a plan for Gaza’s ‘humanitarian reconstruction’” in AHLC meetings, the government “continues to disregard its obligations and responsibility for the devastating conditions in the Strip”.
Gisha urged international donors to focus on “concrete policy changes that could be implemented today”, and “which would have an immediate and direct effect on the well-being of Palestinian residents of Gaza and the Palestinian economy”.
Examples include “the lifting of blanket restrictions Israel places on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza – restrictions that have nothing to do with legitimate security needs”, a step Gisha called “a fundamental prerequisite for jump-starting Gaza’s economy”.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved without allowing entrance of items needed to build and maintain civilian infrastructure, permission to sell and export goods, facilitating revitalisation of industries and the farming and fishing sectors, and lifting restrictions on the movement of people.”