EU Parliament Petition Urges Israel to End Gaza Siege

The Israeli army regularly detains and opens fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Twenty four Members of the European Parliament signed a petition calling on Israel to lift its 14-year blockade on Gaza to allow medical supplies in, after coronavirus cases spiked in the enclave.

The petition, launched by the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, aims to sound the alarm over the state of the strip’s health sector – devastated by years of blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt – in light of a recent increase of coronavirus cases.

The MEPs also called for “immediate action to allow medicines, protective gears, masks, and ICU-units into the territory,” according to a statement released by the Euro-Med Monitor on Monday.

“The Israeli government has to end its siege of Gaza now, and WHO should make sure Palestinians, whose healthcare system is collapsing, have access to decent healthcare,” the monitor quoted its chairman, Ramy Abdu, as saying.

Abdu additionally called on the international community to allocate vaccines for the Gaza strip, where he said “many face an imminent death”.

The petition also calls on the EU to send immediate medical aid to Gaza through the World Health Organization (WHO) and for Israel to lift its blockade to allow the aid through.

“Today, the numbers of Covid-19 cases, which are spreading like fire in refugee camps in Gaza, are telling of the catastrophic situation there,” he said.

According to the NGO, the Gaza Strip lacks 32 percent of basic medicines and 62 percent of laboratory drugs it needs for its population.
The densely populated strip has logged over 33,800 coronavirus infections, resulting in at least 271 deaths.

NGOs say the siege has come at a devastating humanitarian cost.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people. 

(Palestine Chronicle, The New Arab, Social Media)

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