ICSPR: The Sharp and unprecedented deterioration of the humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip sweeps its population into a catastrophe.
The International Commission to Support the Palestinian Rights (ICSPR) followed with deep concern the unprecedented deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip due to the inhumane measures committed by the Israeli occupation forces, and the illegal procedures committed by the Palestinian president and his government.
On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, the civil society in the Gaza Strip launched a special appeal that revealed the low economic and social indicators. The appeal documented that the unemployment rate of the Gaza Strip rose to 46%, 67% of which is among the graduates. The unemployed number reached a quarter of million people.
The poverty rates have exceeded 65%, and the household food insecurity has increased by 50%, which resulted in lacking in purchasing power, shortening of cash to its lowest level in decades, returning thousands of checks due to financial deficit, and issuing hundred thousands of orders to imprison traders due to debts accumulation, which also caused economic collapse in all sectors.
About 4600 families in the Gaza Strip are still homeless and about 5000 families live in tents or plastic houses. The Percentage of safe drinking water is 50%, while the hours of daily power cut reached 12 hours per day. The health sector suffers from shortage of medicines and medical supplements with a deficit of 30% per month.
The Israeli blockade of the past 11 years has created a real threat of the access of 2 million Palestinian to their rights and needs, including basic services that increases over time. The blockade also undermines the chances of any sustainable development in the Palestinian society. The Palestinians lose any hope for a future in which they enjoy respected rights as all the human beings. However, the root of the current humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip lies beyond the siege. The root of the current situation goes deep to the Israeli obstruction of the reconstruction of what was destroyed during the three massive military operations against Gaza. The deterioration of the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip is also attributed to the continued Israeli occupation as a long-term occupation, which prevent the Palestinian from exercises their political and economic and self-determination rights.
The human suffering and the unprecedented deterioration in the human rights situation in the Gaza Strip leaves lots of victim, due to the deterioration of the whole life system, especially health, education, electricity, water, economy, trade, banking and other vital sectors.
ICSPR warns of the consequences of the continuation of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, and considers that the continuation of these conditions will resolve unknown and catastrophic fate. ICSPR considers that the continuation of some collective sanctions implemented by the government and the Palestinian presidency against the Gaza Strip have exceeded all expectations related to the national reconciliation. This indicates that there is a planned approach to drag the population of the Gaza Strip to catastrophic fate. ICSPR records and calls for the following:
1- ICSPR urges the international community to intervene immediately to end the siege imposed by the Israeli occupation on the Gaza Strip for the eleventh year in a row, and to ensure that Israel complies with the obligations of international humanitarian law, especially the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. ICSPR calls upon the international community to ensure freedom of travel and movement for the Palestinian people between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and to secure the free movement of individuals and goods with Egypt.
2- ICSPR urges the international organizations to play their role in strengthening their presence and to intensify the scope of their operations in the Gaza Strip to reduce the potential risks of US decisions of reducing their financial support to UNRWA, which would exacerbate the deteriorating humanitarian situation, especially among refugees.
3- ICSPR urges the Palestinian President and the Prime Minister to work to stop and remedy the effects of all the sanctions imposed recently.
4- ICSPR urges the Palestinian government to issue clear directions to all administrative and executive bodies in the Gaza Strip to stop collecting any taxes or fees in the Gaza Strip. This will alleviate the additional burdens imposed on the citizens, especially the poor families.
5- ICSPR calls upon the security services in the Gaza Strip to respect the citizens right to demonstrate peacefully and express their opinion, and not to repeat the behavior of summoning young activists for participating in popular and youth demonstrations.