Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Gaza in crisis following Rafah, tunnel closures

Gaza in crisis following Rafah, tunnel closures: police called in to transport the public

by Julie Webb-Pullman
September 18, 2013

The Gaza Strip is facing a humanitarian crisis, with such a critical shortage of gasoline that police have been ordered to transport students and workers to schools, universities and workplaces, the Ministry of the Interior has reported.

Police authorities took the drastic measure on Tuesday to alleviate the crisis that has arisen in the fuel sector since the closure of the tunnels that formed the only lifeline to bring basic necessities into the enclave in defiance of the illegal – and crippling – Israeli siege of Gaza. Students and workers have faced waits of several hours for public transport, or been completely unable to attend, bringing the region to a virtual standstill.

Students and workers are not the only ones affected. At its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the Gaza Council of Ministers called for international action to avert the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the severe impact of the closures on the health sector. Generators are unable to operate because of the fuel shortage, limiting the provision of critical services in clinics and hospitals, while some 30% of essential medicines and supplies are completely unavailable, and more than 500 patients cannot leave through Egypt to get urgent medical treatment.

While Egyptian authorities have agreed to open the Rafah Crossing on Wednesday and Thursday for four hours each day for ‘emergency cases only’ this will barely make a dent the 500+ medical cases, let alone the 5,000 humanitarian cases, students, business people, and workers waiting to cross, some for several weeks, if not months.

Whilst the Egyptian closure of the Rafah Crossing and the tunnels has exacerbated the existing situation, the fundamental issue to be tackled is the illegal Israeli siege of Gaza, strengthened to strangling point in 2006.

In its 2012 Annual Report released in March, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) lamented the fact that the Israeli siege of Gaza has become institutionalised, and risks becoming legitimised by the international community, even if inadvertently.

“… [Israel’s] systematic policies have consistently violated the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to adequate housing, education, and social security, and the right to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health,” PCHR said then.

“The crisis can be ended only with the immediate lifting of the closure, the removal of the restrictions on movement to and from the Gaza Strip, and the reversal of the ban on exports.”

How much truer that is now, with Egypt’s closure of the Rafah Crossing, and the tunnels that provided the only relief.

The international community, particularly the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, must heed the cries from Gaza, and exert effective pressure on Israel, as well as on Egypt, to prevent further unnecessary, indefensible, and reprehensible Palestinian suffering and loss of lives.


Gaza Policewomen

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Crisis In Greece

Greece, as the cradle of democracy, is getting no brownie points for actually practicing it. The decision by the Greek government to go back to the people for a mandate for the bailout terms being proposed by the Eurozone seems entirely appropriate. More>>

ALSO:

Stories Of Scoop: Alastair Thompson, Scoop Media & The Cost Of Free Journalism

How does a news organization that cares about authentic journalism and has a mission to effect “positive change” continue to operate in these times of derivative storytelling when advertising dollars are no longer determined by the quality of editorial content? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Pope’s Encyclical On Climate Change

The spread of market mechanisms into every facet of life – as health, education and the environment get treated as mere commodities – has seen economic efficiency worshipped in its own right as a totem, and as a substitute for morality. The Laudato Si encyclical issued today by Pope Francis on climate change and the environment goes some away to restoring a sane balance. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Turns Sixteen: How Scoop's “Ethical Paywall” Model Has Changed Everything

As of this month, a broad range of professional organisations, including constitutional institutions, government agencies & departments, NGOs, Unions, CRIs, law firms, PR agencies, accountancy firms, media organisations, libraries and businesses - all of which make regular use of Scoop in their daily work and for professional research - have joined Scoop’s new “Ethical Paywall” copyright licensing scheme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Sepp Blatter Resignation

Any initial elation at Sepp Blatter’s resignation as the overlord of FIFA will be tempered by his declared intention to stay on until at least December and possibly March 2016, to enable his successor to be elected. Has FIFA got no existing succession plan that could kick in before this? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The FIFA Scandal, And Similar Dirty Deal

With the US now investigating FIFA’s racketeering and money-laundering activities and the Swiss also looking at the bribes that went into the choice of Russia and Qatar as upcoming FIFA venues, the capos at FIFA are taking the fall for the boss of all bosses, Sepp Blatter - who has somehow been blissfully unaware of the dirty payoffs and extortion rackets conducted on his watch ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news