The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today, asked Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip calling it a violation of the Geneva Conventions. The ICRC released a statement calling the blockade “collective punishment”, a crime under international law.
In its statement the ICRC said that living condition in Gaza is very bad because it is plagued by frequent power cuts, a ruined economy, and a collapsed health care system. “The closure imposed on the Gaza Strip is about to enter its fourth year, choking off any real possibility of economic development. Gazans continue to suffer from unemployment, poverty and warfare, while the quality of Gaza’s health care system has reached an all-time low,” noted the ICRC.
Israeli officials insist that they provide enough “humanitarian aid” to cover the basic needs of the Gazans but ICRC claimed that the meager list of goods allowed into Gaza is not enough to meet the needs of around 1.5 million Gazans. The ICRC noted that the Gaza’s health care system is in tatters and more than 100 essential medicines – including chemotherapy and hemophilia drugs – are unavailable in the besieged territory.
“The state of the health-care system in Gaza has never been worse. Thousands of patients could go without treatment, and the long-term outlook will be increasingly worrisome,” said Eileen Daly, the ICRC’s health coordinator in Gaza.
Meanwhile, an Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem released its own report today highlighting the dire conditions in Gaza. The organization revealed that 95 per cent of factories in Gaza have been closed, 98 per cent of residents suffer from blackouts, and 93 per cent of Gaza’s water is polluted.