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Urgent Appeal - End Closures of the Gaza Strip

Urgent Appeal - End Closures of the Gaza Strip

After the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip, a new situation emerged, where the fate of the Rafah crossing and other major Palestinian ports of entry and exit are in the hands of the Israeli forces. The Israeli forces imposed a strict and comprehensive closure on all of its borders with the Gaza Strip, putting 1.4 million Palestinians under complete siege for indefinite period. This situation is converting the Strip into a closed prison, where no access to the outside world is allowed. Thousands of patients, students, and other traveling citizens are stranded at the border for weeks.

According to Palestinian Ministry of Health (MOH) the closure has resulted in a huge shortage in medical supplies, mainly drugs used for treatment of (Diabetes Mellitus) D.M., hypertension, cardiac & cancer diseases, as well as drugs used for treatment of elevated triglycerides. Such situation is created by poor infrastructure in the medical field accumulated from being under Israeli occupation for many years.

In addition, hundreds of Palestinian citizens are withheld at the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing and forced to sleep for weeks at the border denied of their basic human needs. What make it worse are the bad conditions and insufficient facilities to accommodate such big crowd of citizens in the Egyptian side. As a result, hundreds of women, children, and elderly, who are prevented from passing, are left to live in intolerable conditions. These unjustified measures do not spare patients coming back to Gaza after treatment abroad and being held for days, which in turn result in more suffering and deterioration of their health conditions.

All such Israeli measures are a clear violation of international law which treats Israel as an occupying force – Israel insist to continue to be, despite the disengagement from Gaza.

We urge all governments, UN agencies, the European Union, the Quartet committee, and international human rights organizations to act urgently by putting pressure on Israel to lift the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and allowing free movement of Palestinians. We appeal to all of you to help in enforcing the international law of the freedom of movement to Palestinian citizens as set by the 4th Geneva conventions.

We all must demand that Israeli government refrain from such practices and measures and immediately permit the Palestinian citizens to pass through the crossings as well as allowing medical supplies to enter Gaza in order to ward off a humanitarian disaster resulting from deteriorating health conditions.

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