The situation in Gaza is now catastrophic, due to apartheid Israel’s illegal siege, now facilitated by Egypt. People barely have electricity, the power plant has shut down, the water situation is chronic and the health system facing catastrophe. This is a man-made disaster which can be stopped with political will and integrity – we won’t see this from the ‘international community’. Let’s tell our politicians to take some action. (This post is now UPDATED with information on the flooding and escalating crisis in Gaza, as of December 15th )
Please email this or your own personalised version to your TDs. Link to all TD email addresses.
Many thanks, Gaza Action Ireland
I am writing to you to express my deep concern about the desperate situation that the people of Gaza are currently in. On November 1st the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. James W. Rawley called for urgent action to address the looming humanitarian crisis due to the shut-down of Gaza’s only power plant. This shut-down means that people have only around 6 hours of electricity per day – a situation which impacts every aspect of life there. Such outages affect the hospitals, water and sewage systems and, with the largest waste water treatment plants stopping due to lack of fuel, Gaza’s residents are faced with sewage flowing down the streets. Children, having waded through sewage to get to school, are having to study in the dark.
Hospitals are in a near catastrophic situation – on top of the lack of electricity and fuel, medicines are running extremely low, with some stocks at or near zero percent. The Ministry of Health has warned of an imminent “health catastrophe” due to these shortages of medical supplies and equipment.
The siege, which already was crippling Gaza’s economy, has now been tightened by the Egyptian regime with many of the tunnels, the Strip’s lifelines, now closed thus halting the inflow of basic food and fuel commodities, many of which are banned by Israel.
Last week, outgoing UNRWA Commissioner Genera Filippo Grandi warned that “Gaza is quickly becoming uninhabitable” and Oxfam, describing the dire economic scenario said: “80 percent of people … receive international aid, 57 percent of households are food insecure, exports are virtually non-existent, many basic services are barely functioning, and unemployment is over 35 percent and rising.”
As well as all of the above, freedom of movement is severely curtailed, with the Palestinians in Gaza only able to leave through the Rafah crossing intermittently, their freedom of movement is at the whim of Israel and Egypt.
To compound the illegal siege, Israel makes regular military incursions into Gaza’s waters and airspace, thus violating the ceasefire. Farmers and fishers are regularly attacked while trying to make a living and people are subjected to airstrikes.
As of December, Gaza is experiencing increased catastrophe due to flooding, with thousands made homeless. ‘UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said: “Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.”
Severe flooding has forced thousands from their homes.
The relief committee at the Arab Doctors Union has warned of a health disaster in the Gaza Strip as a result of the worsening humanitarian conditions in the besieged enclave.
Collective punishment is illegal under international law yet Israel maintains its blockade of Gaza with no sanction from the international community. Ireland, as a member of the EU, should try to exert some leverage to ensure that Israel is made to abide by international law – instead, we see Israel being rewarded with upgraded relations and with research programmes.
As a voter, I want to hear from my TDs that you are going to do something concrete to stop this outrageous situation in Gaza, a manmade crisis which could be solved with some political will and meaningful action.