Gazans Still Suffering from 16 Years of Blockade: UN

15:58 - January 31, 2023
News ID: 3482300
TEHRAN (IQNA) –  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says over two million people in Gaza are suffering as a result of 16-year-long Israeli and Egyptian blockade on the enclave.


OCHA said in a newly released report that "the longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have undermined the living conditions of over two million Palestinian residents."

"Israel continues to reduce access to livelihoods, essential services, and housing, disrupt family life, and undermine people's hopes for a secure and prosperous future (...) the situation has been compounded by the restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities at the Rafah crossing," OCHA's report added. 

Since 2007, Israel has imposed its illegally tightened blockade on the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2.3 million people, after the Islamic Hamas movement, which won the legislative elections in 2006. 

Moreover, it launched five large-scale military wars against the population, killing and wounding thousands of Gazans and destroying most of the local official and civilian facilities as well as the frustration. 

What worsened the situation was the imposing of another blockade on the ability of Gaza's residents to move in and out of the coastal enclave by the Egyptian authorities, under the pretext of curbing Hamas' empowerment. 

Since the imposition of the blockade in 2007, Israeli authorities restricted the entry into Gaza of goods under the pretext that they would have dual [civilian and military] use such as building materials, certain medical equipment, and some agricultural items.

However, Israel recently allowed cement and steel bars to enter the coastal enclave through the only Israeli-controlled commercial crossing of Kerem Shalom following a lengthy application and review process. 

Since 2018, goods from Egypt also entered Gaza regularly via the Rafah crossing, controlled by the Egyptian authorities, and then through the adjacent Salah Ad Din Gate, controlled by the local authorities.

In December, 10,210 truckloads of authorised goods entered Gaza, 5 per cent below the previous month and 29 per cent more than the monthly average in 2021. 

Still, this was 9 per cent lower than the monthly average on the eve of the blockade in 2007, although Gaza's population has grown by more than 55 per cent since then.

Of the goods entered, 46 per cent were construction materials, and 29 per cent were food supplies. About 3 per cent were humanitarian aid facilitated by international organisations, including food and medical supplies.

In turn, about 725 truckloads of authorised goods exited Gaza, 40 per cent more than the previous month and 91 per cent more than the monthly average in 2021.



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