Home > Awareness, Education and Religion > Fighting occupation in Palestine: Palestine is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Fighting occupation in Palestine: Palestine is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.


The UN reports that 70% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are now living in acute poverty, a figure comparable to poverty levels in sub-Saharan Africa. Over 50% are now dependent on food aid.

Palestinians are not victims of a natural disaster. The poverty they are suffering is an acknowledged product of the Israeli occupation. According to the UK government’s Department for International Development: “Poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is a product of occupation and conflict.” Only by ending the occupation can the root causes of poverty be addressed.

Israel’s recent assault on the people of Gaza in late 2008/early 2009 demonstrated the brutality of Israel’s army. The assault left over 1400 people dead and thousands more injured. It marked the culmination of a policy of collective punishment practised by Israel against the people of Gaza over the past 2 years.

Israel imposed a state of siege on Gaza in 2007 turning the world’s most densely populated area of land into the world’s most densely populated prison. John Dugard the former UN special rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories described the situation in Gaza before the attack as “collective strangulation” of a people.

Yet this is nothing new. Over the last 61 years Israel has continuously acted in defiance of UN resolutions, international law and global outrage. Through the continuing occupation, Israel has engaged in excessive and disproportionate force, house demolitions, targeted assassinations, detention of minors, detention without trial, attacks on water supplies, violation of the right to food and attacks on medical personnel and equipment. This, alongside the systematic and deliberate destruction of schools, hospitals, water systems, farmland and the building of an illegal Separation Wall, has destroyed any semblance of a Palestinian economy.

In addition, millions of Palestinians are still living with human rights abuses and crushing poverty in refugee camps as a result of the ‘nakba’, or catastrophe in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes 61 years ago in the displacement that made the state of Israel possible.

The international community has largely ignored international law with respect to Israel’s crimes. Instead the British government amongst others has rewarded Israeli aggression with financial, military and diplomatic support.

The British government continues to license the sales of arms of Israel and in the first nine months of 2008 licensed the sale of 27 million pounds worth of military equipment.

As Israel’s principal trading partner, the European Union has been called on to suspend the trading preferences which Israel enjoys as a result of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. The Agreement is based upon respect for human rights, yet UN representatives have made clear these rights are regularly violated by Israeli forces.

Palestine is in crisis. We must put pressure on our government to play its part and end the injustice.

source:http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/fighting-occupation-in-palestine

Do not forget that on 30 March 2009 is the Global Day of Action for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. All over the world demonstrations and actions will be taking place calling for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian and in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

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