By Rashid Shahin
Since the war on the Gaza Strip which was launched in the summer of 2014, only a slight improvement in the humanitarian situation has occurred and the Gaza Strip is still a disaster area; people are living in tents or caravans that cannot protect them from the heat in the summer, or from the very cold weather in the winter time.
In fact, in the shadow of the huge destruction of everything, including the necessary infrastructure, the Gaza Strip can be compared with an area hit by a tsunami, like the one that hit Indonesia few years ago, but the difference here is that Indonesia was hit by a natural disaster while Gaza’s destruction was created by the another state.
After 18 months, Israel continues to ban essential products from entering Gaza. The truth is that the reality behind such a policy is to make the people of the Strip bow to Israeli, Zionist demands and to kill the spirit of resistance in them.
Before the War on Gaza, the Gazans used to smuggle a huge number of materials through the tunnels which they dug on the borders with Egypt. Now after the terrorist war launched in that country, the Egyptians decided to destroy all those tunnels, which has made life in Gaza worse than ever, especially when we know that the Rafah crossing has now been closed for more than 12 months.
Over thirty thousand homes were destroyed partially or completely during the last onslaught on Gaza, and two months after that war, the world gathered at a conference in Cairo to reconstruct the Strip, but since then very little has been done, and all the commitments and promises have evaporated.
The problem is that the attitude of the countries especially those that participated in the Cairo conference, in addition to the UN, is very weak in the face of the Israeli government, and has done nothing to change its policy of banning the entry of necessary construction materials; a policy which, if it continues, will make the process of the construction of the Strip last for decades.
The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights reported that “2174 Palestinians were killed, among them 1743 civilians including 530 children, 302 women”, the report added that “10,870 were injured including 3303 children, 2101 women; one third of the injured children will suffer from permanent disability”. Looking at these numbers, we understand what kind of vicious war was launched on the most densely populated region in the world.
The ugliness of the Israeli aggression still continues after 18 months, and by imposing a strict siege on the Strip, they add a new kind of suffering for the Gazan population.
The situation in the Strip is generally deteriorating, electricity supply is limited to a few hours daily, medical provisions are dwindling, hospitals destroyed totally or partially during the aggression means the remaining hospitals face a real problem in admitting sick people. Fishermen are chased and shot at by the Israeli army navy, crops are destroyed and bulldozed by occupation forces, unemployment has reached unprecedented levels, poverty is also increasing, and all of this leads to a dark future for the coming generation, that may lead to a new war or create a trend of extremism which will not only be reflected in Gaza alone, but may affect the whole region.
It is not enough to announce solidarity with Gaza by mere slogans, there must be practical steps by the countries of the world and their governments, especially those who participated in the Cairo conference, to carry out their responsibilities and end this miserable life in the Gaza Strip.
The siege on Gaza which started after Hamas won the elections in 2006, must come to an end, especially when we see no hope or light on the horizon and an end of the current situation, a situation which may last for another 10 or 20 years or even more.
– Rashid Shahin is a Palestinian writer and journalist based in Bethlehem- Palestine. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at: Sadapril2003@hotmail.com.