New Import Restrictions Risk Triggering ‘Dramatic Deterioration’ in Gaza, Says UN Humanitarian Coordinator
UNITED NATIONS, 23 Jul 2018
UN News – TRANSCEND Media Service
Following further restrictions on goods and supplies that can be moved across the border of the Gaza Strip, the top United Nations humanitarian official there has called for urgent measures to prevent an already critical humanitarian situation from getting worse.
17 Jul 2018 – “As events over the weekend demonstrate, the situation in Gaza is extremely precarious,” said Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, after visiting the Gaza Strip.
“I am deeply concerned about the imposition of further restrictions at Kerem Shalom, which is the lifeline for Gaza’s population,” he added, referring to the key border crossing with Israel. “Should they continue, these additional restrictions risk triggering a dramatic deterioration in an already fragile situation and desperate humanitarian conditions, particularly for the health sector,” said Mr. McGoldrick, who is also the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
On 9 July, Israel imposed new restrictions on goods going into Gaza, tightening them further on Monday, to prohibit all goods except medical and food supplies. Fishing along the Gaza coast was also limited to just three nautical miles offshore.
According to media outlets, no fuel will now be allowed to enter through Kerem Shalom until Sunday. Reports say that Israel imposed the measures in response to the flying of incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza towards Israel that have resulted in over 750 fires, burning more than 7,000 acres of Israeli land.
Particularly worrying is the impact that shortfalls in fuel will have on providing critical water, hygiene and sanitation services in Gaza, which depend on donor-funded emergency fuel to power back-up generators, according to the UN humanitarian affairs office for the Palestinian Territory (OCHA).
Currently, water and sanitation facilities have only a seven to 10-day supply, while health facilities have less than seven days of emergency fuel supplies.
“These developments come against the backdrop of a worrying escalation in hostilities in recent days,” said OCHA, with “some 15,000 Palestinian injuries since 30 March in the context of demonstrations; a health system on the verge of collapse; and an 11-year humanitarian crisis created by an Israeli blockade that has raised concerns over collective punishment and an internal Palestinian political divide.”
At present, the humanitarian funding appeal for the occupied Palestinian Territory, 70 per cent of which targets Gaza, is only 23 per cent funded. Moreover, $4.5 million is urgently needed for emergency fuel, which runs out in early August.
“We are steps away from a disastrous deterioration, with potential broad impacts not only on Palestinians in Gaza, but the region,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “Everyone with the ability to improve the situation must take a step back, prevent further escalation and reduce the suffering of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza.”
The UN spokesperson said on Tuesday that the UN Development Programme (UNDP) was implementing various schemes to help boost employment opportunities and mitigate the harsh socio-economic conditions in Gaza.
First, over a 12-month period, UNDP will create more than 2,500 immediate and short-term jobs, directly benefiting nearly 3,000 people – with the aim of women filling 40 per cent of the jobs.
Second, a recently launched rapid employment scheme is offering short- to medium-term employment opportunities to some 1,500 young men and women, including persons with disabilities.
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: