As Anniversary of Israeli Attack Approaches, International NGOs Call for Siege of Gaza to be Raised
A collection of a number of international NGOs has just released a report examining the various negative impacts that the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip has had on life there since last winter’s Israeli assault. In the report, “Failing Gaza: No Rebuilding, No Recovery, No More Excuses,” the various NGOs –which include Amnesty International UK, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Christian Aid, Oxfam International, and Mercy Corps–call for an end to the Israeli-Egyptian siege of the strip.
The report finds the blockade of Gaza to constitute a form of collective punishment. It claims that Gaza’s people have been “betrayed” by the international community for its complicity with the ongoing siege. Expressing their frustration with the weak governmental responses, the report’s authors claim the world has done little more than engage in “hand-wringing” over the current situation. They disapprovingly mention that the European Union has recently extended various economic and trade privileges to Israel.
“Failing Gaza” claims that only 41 trucks carrying construction materials have been allowed into Gaza since the assault last winter, noting that thousands such truckloads would be needed to provide for the reconstruction of the damaged or destroyed houses. It also says that the monthly average number of truckloads entering Gaza that have borne goods and humanitarian supplies dropped precipitously: from 583 in early 2007 to 112 since the establishment of the blockade. Only 35 categories of items are currently allowed into Gaza by Israel, down from some 4000 before the blockade began.
The report in full can be read here.