It is no secret that the situation in Gaza Strip has deteriorated seriously in the humanitarian and life sectors caused by the unjust blockade and devastating wars launched by the Israeli Occupation Force. This week we announce the launch of the "Save Gaza" campaign, which we hopes moves the world to act to end the blockade and to simultaneously provide humanitarian needs to the more than two million besieged people in the Gaza Strip, which has become a disaster area by all accounts.
We ask the world’s free people, human rights organizations and humanitarian institutions: how many victims must there be for your consciences to be stirred to demand the lifting of this blockade?
There are two million people living in the Gaza Strip. They are human beings, who like all other human beings, have the right to life, dignity, work, health, education and freedom of movement. As we sound the alarm, we draw your attention to the catastrophic situation in all humanitarian aspects that have reached breaking point.
This is illustrated by the following facts: 1- Social The social situation in the Gaza Strip is collapsing with regards to the basic requirements of the family: • the poverty rate is 80%, of which 65% of people are below the extreme poverty line. • the unemployment rate is 50%, half of which are youth and university graduates. • three-quarters of Gazans need emergency relief, which is no longer available • 40% of children have anemia and malnutrition. • 17,000 orphans can no longer receive their sponsorship due to the closure of bank accounts of associations and other restrictions on remittances. 2- Health The health situation is at a critical stage, perhaps the worst since the imposition of the blockade. Many patients have died before their families' eyes because of the lack of treatment or the possibility of traveling abroad for treatment. • There are no more than 230 types of medicines. In hospitals, the most basic medical supplies and medicines are not available. • Hundreds of important medical devices are nut functioning due to the Israeli authorities denying entry of spare parts for maintenance. • 13,000 cancer patients are unable to obtain treatment locally or are restricted from travelling abroad. • 50,000 people have disabilities which need treatment and rehabilitation. • The health situation is exacerbated by power cuts and lack of fuel. 3- Environment Successive Israeli military assaults and the targeting of infrastructure has posed a danger to people's lives: • 95% of water is undrinkable. • 150,000 cubic meters of untreated sewage is pumped daily on land or into the sea due to the interruption of pumps because of the electricity crisis.
4- Industry The deterioration in the economic situation has reached its peak, leading to: • Closing of 80% of factories in whole or in part. • Lack of production capacity due to electricity and export crises. • $250 million direct and indirect annual losses. • Economic recession due to poverty. 5- Education Attacking the educational sector has been an ongoing objective of the Israeli occupation: • 10,000 university graduates annually do not find a permanent or temporary job opportunity. • 400 schools operate two shifts per day. • 50 students per class in United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) public schools. • Many students suffer from malnutrition. • Employees in the education sector are not fully paid. • 85% of university students are unable to pay their university fees. 6- Reconstruction The Israeli occupation continues to restrict the entry of many construction materials and this compounds the failure of several countries to fulfill their financial commitments: • 40% of homes completely destroyed in the 2014 assault have not yet been rebuilt. • Thousands of families still live in rented houses that are unsuitable for the number of family members. • Thousands of homes are not fit for human habitation. • More than a quarter of a million families are homeless because of the poverty and devastation caused by Israeli attacks. 7- Energy The continuous electricity cuts and lack of fuel negatively affect people’s lives and have left a tragic impact suffered by all residents of Gaza: • 12-20 hours of daily power cuts and an overall power deficit of 270MW. • 31 people, including 23 children, have been burned to death due to the use of candles and insecure lighting since 2010. 8- Crossings One of the most serious manifestations of the blockade suffered by the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip is the closure of the crossings and the denial of freedom of movement: • Continued closure of the Rafah crossing, which was only open for 21 days throughout 2017. • Continued closure of all commercial crossings of Gaza except for the Kerem Shalom crossing. • 400 items are denied entry through the crossings, including raw materials and construction materials. • Preventing the travel of many patients and merchants and the continued detention of passengers through the Beit Hanoun crossing. In the face of this catastrophic situation, we demand: 1. the international community takes urgent actions to end the blockade. 2. the Palestinian National Authority takes urgent actions to lift the suffering of the Palestinian people living in the Gaza Strip and to work urgently to lift the punitive measures. 3. the Egyptian government opens the Rafah crossing continuously to allow the free movement of passengers and goods and to facilitate the access of aid to the Gaza Strip. 4. Arab, Islamic and international humanitarian institutions, associations and bodies launch an urgent relief campaign to save the Palestinian people of the Gaza Strip from this humanitarian disaster. 5. the UNRWA provides services to those in need without delay. 6. banks stop closing the accounts of associations and institutions of charitable and relief work that serve orphans and the poor. 7. the media reports the call of the Palestinian people of Gaza and our 'Save Gaza' campaign. The Charities Association in Gaza Strip – Palestine Sunday 28 January 2018