Gaza Strip: The Largest Open Air Prison

gazaProminent political thinker Noam Chomsky has described Gaza Strip as “the world’s largest open air prison.” Amnesty International has called on Israeli regime to immediately end the illegal blockade it has imposed on the Gaza Strip, which has left many struggling for humanitarian supplies. “Israel must immediately lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, including by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions,” said an Amnesty statement.

Reportedly over 1.7 million people of Gaza are living without power since the territory’s sole power plant was forced to shut down due to fuel shortage.“This latest harsh setback has exacerbated the assault on the dignity of Palestinians in Gaza and the massive denial of rights they have experienced for more than six years because of Israel’s blockade, together with restrictions imposed by Egypt,” said Philip Luther, the Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International. Luther added that the blockade “has collectively punished Gaza’s population in violation of international law.”

Israel imposed an all out land, aerial, and naval blockade on Gaza in June 2007. The siege has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the impoverished enclave, having turned the territory into the world’s largest open-air prison. In recent months, fuel and electricity shortages in Gaza have worsened as the Egyptian military has blocked supply tunnels leading into the region. The underground tunnels serve as a lifeline for the Palestinians in Gaza.

Due to this blockade Strip is experiencing daily power outages of up to 16 hours. Hospitals, homes, water and sanitation plants as well as businesses have also been affected by the serious energy shortage. The power cut has caused the failure of sewerage and water plants. It has also put the lives of many hospitalized patients in danger. According to the UN, all 291 water and wastewater facilities in the Gaza Strip are now relying on standby generators, which are also affected by the fuel shortages.

Israel eased the blockade somewhat in 2010 after an Israeli commando raid on Turkish Flotilla making an attempt to reach Gaza that left nine Turks dead and raised an international uproar, but Palestinians say the gestures were not enough.

While Israel in committing the worst atrocities against Muslims, some of the Arab countries are strengthening relationship with the Zionist state, especially after singing of the historic Geneva Accord between P5+1 and Iran. According to a report published in an Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth recently, President Shimon Peres appeared before 29 foreign ministers from the Persian Gulf states, Arab League countries and other Muslim nations. The king of Saudi Arabia’s son was also among the participants of the meeting.

“The UAE, which organized the summit, chose Peres to open the assembly, a testimony to the importance of the Israeli president during this point in time, and more so, the importance of a good relationship with Israel against the common enemy, Iran,” the daily said.

According to New York Times chief analyst Thomas Friedman, Peres had stressed that “Israel can be a major factor in the Middle East, and that there is an opportunity for dialogue for a common goal – a struggle against radical Islamism and a nuclear Iran, and he also talked about his vision for world peace.”







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