GAZA, Jan 18 (NNN-WAFA) – Palestinian officials and observers, warned, the living situation in the Gaza Strip has reached the bare minimum in all aspects of life.
Amid worsening humanitarian crises, the narrow impoverished coastal enclave, home for over two million Palestinians, needs a serious and immediate international intervention to end the people’s suffering.
The United Nations repeatedly warned of a humanitarian deterioration in Gaza. In 2019, it issued a report, warning that the Gaza Strip will not be suitable for living, if Israel continues imposing blockade on it.
Palestinian officials said, it is essential and urgent to allow comprehensive relaxations, based on economic development, to achieve dramatic changes of the daily life in the Gaza Strip.
Jamal al-Khodari, chairman of the Popular Committee for Ending Gaza Siege, said, the UN report was a real warning of the humanitarian deterioration in the Gaza Strip, suffering the Israeli blockade.
“The situation in the Gaza Strip is expected to get worse during this year, in all aspects of life, where humanitarian sufferings will increase with rising rates of poverty and unemployment,” he told Xinhua.
“Gaza might still be an area that fits for living, but at a bare minimum or below the international or Arab criteria. This makes the Gaza Strip one of the poorest areas in the world,” al-Khodari said.
About 85 percent of Gazans live under the poverty line, with the individual income of two U.S. dollars per day, and 300,000 are unemployed in the coastal enclave, according to the Palestinian official.
Besides poverty and unemployment, hospitals in the Gaza Strip face 50 percent shortage of medications and medical facilities, forcing many patients to seek medical treatment abroad.
Electricity shortage is another nightmare for the Gaza Strip. The majority of Gazan households have power cuts at least eight hours per day, although Qatar has been providing fuels for the operation of the sole power station in the coastal enclave.
The Gaza Strip is also suffering a severe shortage of healthy water, even with the inauguration of several desalination projects, because not every family can afford to buy such water on a daily basis.
Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control of the enclave in the summer of 2007, from the security forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Notably, Israel waged three large-scale air and ground offensives against the militants in the Gaza Strip. The longest came in the summer of 2014, which lasted 50 days, causing devastation to housing and infrastructure in the coastal enclave.
Over more than a year and a half, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations have been mediating cease-fire understandings between Hamas and Israel, in order to ease the humanitarian situation and prevent mass confrontations between the two sides.
“There might be some positive indications that the economic situation in the Gaza Strip would improve in 2020, in case Israel fulfils its promises to ease the blockade,” said Ali el-Hayyek, chairman of the Gaza Businessmen Association.
Lifting the Israeli restrictions on export and import and speeding up the reconstruction projects “would certainly put an end to the hard living situation,” he noted.– NNN-WAFA