- June 29, 2009
OCHA: Israeli military activities and restrictions against Gaza still ongoing
The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said in a report covering the period from17 to 23 of June that Israeli military activities in the Gaza Strip as well as excessive restrictions imposed on vital humanitarian needs are still persistent.
The report explained that IOF troops continue to prevent Palestinians in Gaza from approaching their lands located in a “buffer” zone of 300 meters west of the border fence with frequent warning fire.
In addition, Palestinian fishermen continue to be restricted to fishing areas within three nautical miles along Gaza’s 38-kilometer coast. During the reporting period, IOF gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats on three separate occasions, forcing them to return to shore. On one occasion the IOF navy kidnapped four Palestinian fishermen and seized two of their boats.
A water network rehabilitation project was completed by the organization of Care International in northern Gaza, reconnecting nearly 9,900 people residing in Al-Saifa area to the Gaza water network, the report said.
It added there are still 18,000 residents of Ezbet Abedrabbo in Northern Gaza and Al-Zeitoun area, southeast of Gaza city, without access to piped water.
The report noted that access to water in Gaza will continue to be a problem unless necessary supplies, including spare parts and cement for repairing damage sustained during Israel’s military war, are allowed to enter Gaza.
The report also said that Gaza suffers from severe shortages of cooking gas in some areas resulting from the closure of gas stations, adding that the ban on petrol and diesel imports imposed since November 2008 continues.
In another context, the Viva Palestina campaign headed by British MP George Galloway announced its intention to organize a fund-raising campaign as of Sunday at the American University in Washington for Gaza people.
The campaign said, in a press statement published by America in Arabic news agency, that the donations would be allocated to a convoy, named “Lifeline from the US to Gaza”, heading from New York to the besieged enclave through the Rafah border crossing.
Galloway is expected to tour in the coming days a number of American states to raise more funds for Gaza.