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IHH representative describes current situation in Gaza
Israel’s 7 year ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip has crippled everyday life. The people of Gaza, under Israeli occupation, have been struggling to survive as a result of the Rafah Border Crossing being closed down along with their tunnels destroyed.
Palestine, Palestine-Gaza 08.03.2014

According to IHH Gaza representative, Mehmet Kaya, Gaza is already in a bad state and is struggling for life. Gaza is in worse condition with the border crossing being shut down as well as Gaza’s tunnels. “Besides emergency situations, very few people are given safe conduct to enter Gaza,” says Kaya, while giving information regarding the humanitarian crisis taking place in the Gaza Strip.

Kaya states that “the entry of goods and commercial transit is entirely in the hands of Israel,” and “there is a single point of entry and that is the Karam Abu Salim Crossing. Even then the crossing is opened when they see fit and they determine the quantity of goods that enter.”

Kaya also states that “it is recorded that there is a steady increase of people in need who fall below the poverty line and there is serious need for aid.”

“The bank accounts of many charitable organizations have been closely monitored and have had their accounts either closed or frozen,” says Kaya.

The current struggle in Gaza and ongoing embargo has resulted in a decrease of medical equipment which has, on the contrary, resulted in an increase of people who cannot receive proper medical treatment. “There are major problems concerning medicine and fuel in Gaza. There are major problems with electricity and water. Six hours of electricity is given out to the citizens of Gaza daily, which in return, renders most electrical devices useless due to irregular current flow. Water delivered to homes on behalf of the municipality is undrinkable and is so dirty and salty that it cannot be used for domestic purposes. Due to power cuts, the amount of citizens who don’t have water delivered to their homes for long periods of time is constantly increasing,” says Kaya.

Kaya, describing the economic situation, also states, “The unemployment rate and threshold of poverty is expanding due to an increase of food prices and other needs. Civil servants who get a one month cheque once every 2 to 3 months in considered lucky. A certain percentage of the population of Gaza is comprised of villagers working in agriculture. This percentage remains unemployed due to Israeli bulldozers that destroyed their farmland. Gaza’s construction industry is considered the most important sector in Gaza and due to the Israeli embargo construction material cannot enter, resulting in tens of thousands of workers and business owners to go unemployed.”

“The fuel problem in Gaza becomes more and more noticeable with every passing day,” says Kaya while adding that “municipalities, hospitals, schools and universities, government agencies and foundations carry out their daily tasks under difficult conditions. Petrol, diesel and gas are delivered at a bare minimum through Israeli boarders. The Palestinian public alongside institutions and foundations cannot meet its high prices to operate their generators.”

Kaya, referring to the political situation in Gaza, states that the tension with the Jews continues and goes on by saying “within the last three days dozens of attacks have been recorded. Alongside vacant lands, various educational fields that belong to political groups are being targeted. The smell of war is dominant. Egypt’s new coupe regime constantly threatens with military operations and keeps Gaza tunnels under control and under constant surveillance.”


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