Charity coalition in the Gaza Strip on Thursday said that the coastal enclave has become a “disaster zone” and called for immediate action to rescue its inhabitants.
The coalition coordinator Ahmad al-Kurd announced in a press conference the launch of “Save Gaza” initiative with a view to helping the Palestinians living under dire conditions in Gaza.
Al-Kurd said, “It is no secret that the situation in the Gaza Strip has seriously deteriorated due to the unjust siege and devastating wars waged by the Israeli occupation of the enclave.”
Al-Kurd called on all international institutions to urgently intervene without any delay or procrastination to end the siege and meet the basic needs of Gaza’s two million inhabitants.
He also asked the Palestinian Authority to help alleviate the suffering of Gazan people by lifting the sanctions imposed on them.
Al-Kurd said that 80% of Gaza’s population lives in poverty, 65% of whom live below the poverty line, while three-quarters of the population need urgent relief aid which is no longer available.
The unemployment rate in Gaza reached 50% while the percentage of children with anemia and malnutrition jumped to 40%. Nearly 17,000 orphans no longer receive their financial guarantees and there are 50,000 people with disabilities who need treatment and rehabilitation.
Al-Kurd explained that the health sector in Gaza is going through a serious phase that led to the death of many patients due to the lack of treatment or because they were prevented from traveling for treatment. He pointed out that there are 230 types of medicines missing in Gaza hospitals.
Hundreds of medical devices have been broken for a long time as the Israeli occupation authorities prevent the entry of spare parts for maintenance into Gaza. About 13,000 cancer patients need urgent treatment abroad, while thousands of citizens, most of whom are poor, suffer from chronic diseases.
Al-Kurd said that Israel imposes strict restrictions on the entry of building materials into Gaza. According to the charity coalition, 40% of the houses destroyed in the 2014 war have not been reconstructed yet.
He continued that Gazans suffer 12-20 hour power outages per day, noting that the power deficit amounted to 270 MW.
Due to the power crisis, 31 Gazans were burned to death, including 23 children, because of the use of candles and unsecured lighting tools.
Al-Kurd said that Rafah crossing was opened only 21 days during 2017 and asked the Egyptian authorities to reopen the crossing on a continuous basis and facilitate the movement of passengers and the entry of aid and goods into Gaza.
He affirmed that all Gaza commercial crossings are completely closed except for Karem Abu Salem, pointing out that Israel prevents the entry of 400 types of goods into Gaza.
He also highlighted the travel ban orders issued against many patients and merchants and the arbitrary arrest campaigns targeting the Palestinian passengers passing through Beit Hanoun crossing.
The charity coalition called on Arab, Islamic and international humanitarian organizations to launch an urgent campaign to rescue the people of Gaza and asked the concerned media outlets to support this campaign.
This report first appeared on Palinfo, and can be viewed here.