Beyond the ceasefire
Islamic Relief calls for an end to the blockade of Gaza
The latest round of attacks on Gaza has further jeopardised and hampered the road to achieving permanent peace. On 5 August, Israeli airstrikes hit multiple locations in the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City, Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis.
By the time the escalation concluded with a truce two days later, at least 47 Palestinians had been killed, including 16 children. Around 360 Palestinians were injured, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Health. The strikes damaged at least 1,761 housing units, according to the UN, leaving hundreds displaced and thousands more affected.
Gaza’s only working power plant was turned off for two days to conserve fuel, while the power lines supplying many homes and health facilities in Gaza sustained significant damage.
The fallout from the escalation has been made worse by Israel’s 15 years-long blockade on Gaza, which restricts the flow of essential goods and people in and out of the territory.
An end to the blockade
Islamic Relief welcomes the UN-Egyptian brokered truce, which has held since coming into effect at midnight on August 7. We hope it will bring an end to the deaths of civilians seen over the weekend. However, a ceasefire is only a temporary solution to the situation in Gaza. It is not enough to prevent future escalations of violence.
We believe that without meaningful action to address the injustice and inequality at the heart of the situation in Gaza, periodic flare ups in violence will continue, and more civilians will lose their lives.
World leaders must seize this moment to truly address the root causes of the crisis in Gaza and seek a viable lasting solution. Messages of condolence shared on social media do nothing while the underlying issues continue to be ignored.
The Palestinian people deserve to live in freedom and security. For this to be possible, the blockade of Gaza, and the wider illegal occupation of Palestinian territory must be brought to an end. Islamic Relief calls for an end to the Israeli occupation, and for a lasting solution to the conflict that is rooted in international law and justice for all.
A dire humanitarian situation
Every escalation in violence exacerbates the already-dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. While tThe blockade places huge strain on everyday life in the area. For more than 15 years, the Israeli government has controlled Gaza’s land borders, territorial waters and air space, creating what has been called ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’.
The blockade has turned Gaza’s once-vibrant economy into an area where 80 per cent of residents now rely on aid, and many children go to bed hungry. The health system is on the verge of collapse and the economy is in freefall.
Under the current situation, the youth of Gaza look to the future and see steep unemployment, poverty and crisis. Every day, lives and dreams are being crushed.
Islamic Relief has been working in the occupied Palestinian territory since 1997, responding to emergencies and supporting development. During last weekend’s escalation, we provided food and supported medical facilities treating the injured.
We will continue to stand with the people of Palestine. We will advocate for their right to freedom and safety, and we will urge the international community to uphold its responsibilities to the Palestinian people and seek an end to the illegal blockade and occupation.
Urgent action is needed to protect the rights of the people of Gaza, which remain under threat with each day the blockade continues.
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