Restriction on Movement Undermines Living Conditions in Gaza, Says UN

A Gaza chicken farm destroyed due to Israeli airstrikes on Feb 6. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, MEMO)

Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of approximately two million Palestinians in that area, said a report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the occupied Palestinian territories published on Friday.

It said that even though the restrictions were imposed by Israel in the early 1990s, they were intensified after June 2007, following Hamas’ election victory in Gaza and the subsequent imposition of a blockade.

“These restrictions continue to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people’s hopes for a secure and prosperous future,” it said.

The UN noted that the situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed since June 2013 by the Egyptian authorities at Rafah Crossing, which had become the main crossing point used by Palestinian passengers in the Gaza Strip, given the above restrictions on the Israeli-controlled crossings.

The report included charts of the times the crossings with Israel and Egypt were closed and opened for movement of people and goods, which affected exports and imports as well as entry of badly needed fuel to the Gaza Strip.

(PC, Wafa, Social Media)

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