The Palestinian Non-Government Organisations Network (PNGO) has called for international pressure to end the Israeli blockade on Gaza.
Made up of 150 Palestinian NGOs, the PNGO issued the call earlier this month while highlighting the difficult living conditions Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip are still enduring under the strict Israeli siege, which was imposed on the coastal enclave in 2007.
The crippling siege has undermined even the most basic healthcare, education, social and economic provision, as well as essential infrastructure.
“Nearly 60% of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance. The international community at all levels need to put pressure on the
Israeli occupation state to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip,” PNGO said in a statement.
Israeli occupation forces continue to restrict 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.
In response, several organisations including the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza (ICBSG) have signalled support for the cause by “reactivating the blockade-breaking ships that carry activists from around the world, as well as by participating with civil society organisations in the Arab and Muslim world.”
Moreover, as a founding member of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), the ICBSG added it “will make every effort with our partners in the coalition to activate the efforts to break the sea blockade on Gaza.”
Several vessels have tried to break the siege on the Gaza Strip as part of the Freedom Flotilla, however, Israeli occupation forces confronted them and prevented them from reaching Gaza’s shores.
Zaher Birawi, president of the ICBSG, said:“We look forward to working towards this call for collective mobilisation. The suffering of our people in Gaza has gone on for far too long while the occupying state’s immoral and illegal blockade and international paralysis has seen the situation deteriorate to levels hitherto seen before.”
“It is high time that we, organisations in the international NGO support network for Palestinian rights, come together and enhance our coordination in order to maximise our efforts towards alleviating the plight of our people in Gaza.”