‘100yrs to Repair Gaza’: Oxfam Says Blockade Remains, Aid Almost Non-Existent
PALESTINE - ISRAEL, 2 Mar 2015
27 Feb 2015 – Reconstructing Gaza could take an entire century, if Israel doesn’t stop the siege, leading charity Oxfam warned. And that’s just the time frame for essential projects. The NGO’s regional director calls the situation “deplorable.”
A statement was issued by the group on Thursday [26 Feb 2015], six months after the latest conflict, which saw Israel roll out Operation Protective Edge. That brought about eight weeks of bombardment, followed by a devastating ground assault.
Oxfam’s statement outlines how “the situation in Gaza is becoming increasingly desperate” and calling for the lifting of the eight-year blockade, as well as a continuation of peace talks.
“Only an end to the blockade of Gaza will ensure that people can rebuild their lives,” Regional Director Catherine Essoyan said. With it in place, the flow of construction materials in and agricultural produce out is having a crippling effect on the lives of Palestinians.
According to the NGO, new figures reveal a drop last month in construction materials, which are vital to the efforts. “Less than 0.25 percent of the truckloads of essential construction materials needed have entered Gaza in the past three months,” the statement also said.
In pure figures, over 800,000 truckloads of such materials are still required to repair the infrastructure damaged in last summer’s operation alone – Israel’s bloodiest in years – which claimed 2,200 Palestinian lives, most of them civilians.
About 100,000 of these people still live in shelters and other makeshift or temporary accommodation because of this lack of materials.
“Tens of thousands more are living in badly damaged homes,” Oxfam ads.
“Families have been living in homes without roofs, walls or windows for the past six months. Many have just six hours of electricity a day and are without running water. Every day that people are unable to build is putting more lives at risk. It is utterly deplorable that the international community is once again failing the people of Gaza when they need it most,” Essoyan continues.
A further problem concerns food.
“Exports of agricultural produce from Gaza have fallen in the last year to just 2.7 percent of the level before the blockade was imposed. Fishermen are still restricted to an enforced fishing limit of 6 nautical miles – far short of where most fish are – farmers are restricted from accessing much of the most fertile farmland.”
The charity continues to provide water, food vouchers and health services where it can.
In the meantime, no progress has been reached on a diplomatic, long-term solution to the crisis, which was supposed to take effect after the ceasefire.
As the separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank persists, people continue to be trapped. The same goes for the border with Egypt, which has been shut for the past two months, preventing thousands from leaving.
The organization also places blame with the Palestinian unity government, which hasn’t been able to reach a consensus and is therefore “exacerbating the situation.”
Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.
DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
7 2 9: BOYCOTT FOR JUSTICE!
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
PALESTINE - ISRAEL: