Friday, May 18, 2018

Gaza - "A Toxic Slum"

Israel has been keeping 1.9 million Palestinians "caged in a toxic slum from birth to death" in the Gaza Strip, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein told a special session of the Human Rights Council on Friday.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein has slammed Israel for its treatment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. He said its response to recent protests was "wholly disproportionate."

Zeid said:
  • Israel has been "systematically depriving" Palestinians of their rights.
  • "End the occupation and the violence and insecurity will largely disappear."
  • There is "little evidence" that Israel tried to keep casualties to a minimum during protests earlier this week.
  • The protesters' "actions alone do not appear to constitute the imminent threat to life or deadly injury which could justify the use of lethal force."
  • "Killing resulting from the unlawful use of force by an occupying power may also constitute wilful killings, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention."
Conditions in Gaza are unlivable, the UN's deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Jamie McGoldrick, told DW. More Palestinian protests are expected, fueled by a desperate humanitarian situation.

People have very limited access to clean water and they have to buy that in the open market and have it trucked into Gaza, because the water systems are not drinkable.
Second, as to the electricity, which runs everything, it's basically four hours a day for people. And right now we are moving into the very hot season. 
On top of that, you have civil servants that have not received salaries, full salaries, for months or at all.
Between 18 and 30 years of age, the unemployment rate is around 60 percent. And the general global unemployment in Gaza is over 40 percent. So you have this large number of unemployed youth, who have skills, who have the ability to be employed, but they're constrained because the market doesn't absorb them, cannot absorb them, because it cannot expand. There is no productive capacity there.
Living conditions are pretty drastic. People can't get basic health care. You have economic deterioration, you have systems collapse. Conditions are already unlivable for millions of people in Gaza. That's not a normal life they're living in Gaza under these conditions, where you have no future. Where you have no prospects of a future, where the uncertainty of getting educated and getting a degree and having the prospects of a job and a future, of getting married, moving out of your parents' house and having a life of your own, buying a car — the simple things, that people aspire to in other parts of the world, they just don't exist in Gaza. The number of trucks that are brought in to Gaza, commercial trucks that come in there to sell goods to people, have gone down over the past year in terms of numbers. And that just indicates that people just don't have the money to buy goods that are there.  The Israeli blockade is hampering the work of the commercial sector, the viability of the economy in all the parts of the Gaza and the occupied Palestinian territory. And it affects all of what we do. It makes our life harder. We can bring our goods in easily enough because we have the permits to do so. But when you're trying to trade, or you are trying to have commercial enterprises — in these conditions it makes it very, very difficult. So, we have greater needs to address, as each year, each month goes on, and unfortunately, we don't have the international donor support. There's a general sort of disregard for Palestine and the international community when it comes to funding the humanitarian side of things. 16 percent has been funded, and this is almost halfway through the year.
It's no wonder, that there is a sense of rage, a sense of anger, that they face this. 

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