Anyone watching or even taking a glimpse of the news these days is sure to be bombarded by a series of headlines related to the situation in
What is the
Named after its main city,
The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 occurred after
After the 1994 Oslo Accords were signed by the Palestinians and Israelis, the Palestinian Authority (PA) started to gradually take control of the Gaza Strip. With Israeli forces leaving
As a result of the Second Intifada which erupted in September 2000, the Israeli government proposed a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip in 2005. On 12 September, 2005 the Israeli cabinet formally declared an end to Israeli military rule in the area with full PA administrative authority.
In June 2007, violence erupted between Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) and Fatah (Palestine Liberation Movement) – two factions which were already part of the PA’s Unity Government. As a result of the violent outbreak, Hamas managed to take over control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, declared itself the legitimate government of the PA, and expelled forces loyal to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas from the Strip. Hamas is politically and -it is believed- logistically supported by
Following Hamas’ takeover of
Since Hamas’ overtake of
On January 23, 2008, parts of the wall dividing
In February 2008, the Israeli-Palestinian standoff intensified with rockets launched at Israeli cities and
The Humanitarian Side
It explains that, “
The report mentions many other shocking facts. Food prices are very high with essential items such wheat flour, baby milk and cooking oil being very scarce. Business and industry are also greatly affected with a 40% unemployment rate and 3,500 out of 3,900 factories closed. Agriculture is also suffering because of Israeli restriction on crops. The report mentions that “Israel insists that no crop is allowed to grow over 40cm high, limiting farmers to cash crops which are costly to produce and heavily reliant on accessible export markets.”
A few other equally shocking facts from the repor include the following:
– Israeli allows 2.2 million litres of EU-supplied industrial diesel per week – not enough to keep
– Between 25-30% of the population of the Gaza Strip does not receive running water at home because electricity is not available for pumping. About 30-40 million litres of sewage flows untreated into the sea every day.
– Hospitals experience power cuts for 8-12 hours a day and depend on generators to run basic facilities. Spare parts for generators are almost impossible to obtain.
– Access to lifesaving treatment outside
– Almost 2,000 Palestinian pupils have dropped out of school this academic year. A UN survey indicated 80% failure rates in most years.
Diplomatic efforts -it seems- are not able to slow down the unwinding of military actions between the Palestinians and Israelis and accordingly alleviate the dire humanitarian situation in