Date: 17 Oct 2021
On the eve of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
ICSPR: The occupation and the tightening of the siege deepen the crisis of poverty and unemployment among the Palestinians. ICSPR calls on the international community to compel the occupation authorities in their capacity as the occupation forces to assume their responsibilities towards the poor.
The world annually celebrates the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 17 of each year, in honor of and solidarity with the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger, and mobilizes resources and political will to address this problem and its associated challenges. This day was declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations “Resolution 47/196” and adopted on January 22, 1992, stressing that poverty is a violation of human rights and the need for international concerted efforts to ensure respect for those rights, which requires strengthening the capabilities of individuals through education, science and support for the creative economy, as factors that create job opportunities and enhance a sense of pride and dignity, in line with human rights charters and the sustainable development plan and goals.
Nationally, this international occasion comes in a time, while indicators of poverty, unemployment and marginalization have grown due to the practices of the occupation and the brutal Israeli war siege, and the consequent control over Palestinian resources, and the adoption of economic policies that obstruct the development of the Palestinian territories, by preventing Palestinians from exploration and extraction of gas from fields off the shores of the Gaza Strip, or by imposing restrictions on the freedom of movement of goods and raw materials and controlling import and export, or through dredging, targeting and cutting off electricity on industrial facilities, in addition to dredging of agricultural lands that constitute the basket of raw materials, and other arbitrary and illegal practices, with the aim of ensuring that the Palestinian economy remains a consumer market dependent on the Israeli market and economy, which has exacerbated the indicators of poverty, unemployment and food insecurity among a segment of Palestinian families, especially in the Gaza Strip, where the economy is still groaning as a result of the recent aggression in May 2021 and the tightening of restrictions on commercial movement at the Gaza Strip crossings with the outside world, which means that the Palestinians will remain poor and destitute, in contravention of the minimum human rights charters, which stress the need for international solidarity to eradicate poverty.
The internal division and the absence of the government’s development strategy that promotes the production pattern instead of the culture of consumption, in addition to the government’s delay in disbursing social development allocations for about a year, as well as the challenge of Corona and the accompanying precautionary measures, all of that have created economic challenges for citizens, especially workers in seasonal occupations and day laborers, leading to an increase in poverty and unemployment rates, which reached nearly 75%, and caused food insecurity for about 70% of the Gaza Strip population, in addition to the fact that about (80%) of the population is now dependent on international relief aid to provide the basic necessities of living.
ICSPR emphasizes that the above challenges have contributed to the decline of the Palestinian people’s sense of their economic rights, and considers that the occupation, siege, and various Israeli practices and restrictions are the major cause of poverty in Palestine, and stresses the need to provide all forms of support and empowerment for the Palestinian poor in order to enhance their steadfastness. Therefore:
- ICSPR calls on the international community to exert serious and urgent pressure on the Israeli occupation authorities to ensure respect for Palestinian economic rights, and to oblige them to assume their responsibilities towards the population and the poor, including ending the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, and lifting the restrictions imposed on freedom of movement of goods and people to and from the Gaza Strip, as it is the way to empower the production sector and provide job opportunities.
- ICSPR calls on the international community to accelerate its efforts, to allow for the reconstruction of what was destroyed during the last Israeli aggression in May 2021, especially with regard to economic facilities and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
- ICSPR calls on the international and international donor institutions to enhance cooperation and efforts, to respond to the growing poverty, unemployment and food insecurity, including increasing its funding to the Palestinian territories, to help to turn the national economy from a state of consumption to a state of production.
- ICSPR calls on the government in Ramallah and the Administrative Committee in the Gaza Strip, to review their existing policies in terms of taking adequate measures to combat poverty in the Palestinian territories, including lifting collective punishments on the Gaza Strip, disbursing social development allocations, reducing taxes and canceling the policy of levying, and create an encouraging environment for small projects, which leads to gradually moving the development process and strengthening the steadfastness of citizens.
- ICSPR stresses the importance of ending the division and achieve national consensus on holding comprehensive general elections, in a way that allows for the unification and legitimization of the institutions of the Palestinian political system, and increases their ability to face the challenges of Palestinian society, including poverty, unemployment and food insecurity