Up to two million people have been effectively locked up for 10 years in a tiny strip of land since Israel imposed its complete closure on Gaza, which it enforces from the sea, land and air. Egypt too has closed its border with Gaza.
Christian Aid has raised concerns that the Israeli military’s use of snipers against unarmed Palestinian civilian protesters in the Gaza Strip is illegal.
Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Policy, William Bell, who just returned from Gaza, said: “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants. Israel is obligated to act in accordance with international law.
“For Israelis and Palestinians to be truly secure, democratic and peaceful, and for an end to the poverty that degrades the lives of so many Palestinians, Israel’s occupation and control over their lives must end and all must be treated equally.”
Bell added: “The World Bank has stated unemployment in Gaza is now the highest in the world at over 40%, and much higher amongst the young. Electricity fluctuates between 2 and 4 hours a day and raw sewage flows into the sea leaving a vile stench in the air. Chronically sick patients are denied access to urgent healthcare outside. Families are separated for years on end.
“The UN has predicted that it will be uninhabitable by 2020. It should not surprise anyone that people are demonstrating and want to be able to move freely.”