Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor on Tuesday called on the international community to pressure Israel to end its illegal blockade.
In its annual report titled ‘Bitter 16: A Generation Bred in Captivity’, the Geneva-based independent organization documented “the dire effects of the blockade on the social, economic, and humanitarian levels, which were exacerbated by the repeated military attacks on the Strip— the most recent of which was in May 2021.”
The report analyzes several indicators of the humanitarian crisis derived from the Israeli siege, imposed by the Israeli authorities on the Strip in 2006.
For example, “the unemployment rate has risen from 23.6% before the imposition of the blockade in 2005 to 50.2% at the end of 2021—one of the highest in the world,” the report read.
The report also takes into account the health sector, which is “one of the most affected by the blockade since Israel prevents or limits the entry of medicines and medical supplies into Gaza, causing health care services to decline by 66%”.
As for the freedom of movement, the report points out that “Israel only allows limited—mostly humanitarian—cases to move through the Erez Crossing, which is the only Israeli crossing designated for the entry and exit of individuals to and from Gaza.”
While calling on the international community to “compel Israel, as an occupying power, to respect the rights of all Gazans in accordance with the relevant international norms,” Euro-Med Monitor also recommends that the International Criminal Court (ICC) “should open investigations against Israeli leaders and soldiers involved in the collective punishment and military attacks against Gaza to achieve accountability in accordance with international justice standards”.
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.
(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)