Creating new perspectives since 2009

Palestinian NGO network warns of serious damage if Israel siege on Gaza continues

February 2, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Palestinians gather at the Unknown Soldier’s Square to protest the visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Gaza Strip [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) has warned of the serious repercussions of the continued deterioration of the economic, social and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the 15-year long Israeli blockade.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 launched by the United Nations and its local and international partners stressed the need for more than $500 million to cover the humanitarian needs in the occupied Palestinian territory and to allocate more than 70 per cent of it to the Gaza Strip.

The Humanitarian Response Plan indicates that nearly 60 per cent of the Gaza Strip’s population, which exceeds 2.35 million people, needs humanitarian assistance, most  are children, women and people with disabilities.

PNGO, which is made up of 150 Palestinians NGOs, stressed that the Israeli blockade caused a humanitarian catastrophe that affected all aspects of life for the residents of the Gaza Strip. Israeli occupation forces continue to impose restrictions on the movement of goods and people and prevent farmers from accessing their agricultural lands in the area near the Israel-Gaza fence, they attack fishermen and prevent the entry of many raw materials, devices and equipment necessary for a number of sectors, and do not allow other items out of the Strip. This, the group added, prevents Gaza’s economy from developing.

READ: US Blinken meets Palestine President in Ramallah

“Statistics show that more than 60% of the population of the Gaza Strip suffers from food insecurity, in addition to unemployment rates, which have risen, according to official statistics, to nearly 50%, while among youth it has risen to more than 70%, which is the highest in the world,” the PNGO said. “More than 60% of the population of the Gaza Strip is below the poverty line. The occupation prevented more than 33% of patients in the Gaza Strip from treatment outside the Gaza Strip, and it is still preventing the entry of some medical devices and equipment into the Gaza Strip, in addition to the continued power outages for long hours, and the water shortage, as 97% of the water in the Gaza Strip is non-potable.”

The Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip has resulted in severe exhaustion of the infrastructure, as well as the systematic destruction of various sectors, including health, education, industry, agriculture, communications among others. “Such deterioration is accompanied by the inability of the international community to put pressure on the Israeli occupation, as well as the donors’ reduction of their financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and to civil society organizations that work to provide multi-sectoral services to our Palestinian people,” it added.

Calling for international support to hold Israel to account for its crimes and for increased funding to support Palestinians who are in desperate need, the PNGO Network also stressed “the need to achieve Palestinian reconciliation in a manner that enhances the steadfastness of our people in the face of the occupation and its aggressions.”

READ: Israel priority to normalise ties with Arabs before peace with Palestine: Netanyahu