UN: Gazans are getting poorer because of the suffocating siege

UN: Gazans are getting poorer because of the suffocating siege

Maxwell Gaylard, the UN humanitarian coordinator in the occupied Palestinian lands, stated that the Palestinians in the impoverished Gaza Strip are getting poorer and their crises are deteriorating because of the suffocating siege imposed on the Strip for about eight months.

During a press conference held by the UN to launch a 2008 humanitarian appeal for Palestinians, Maxwell said that there is a widespread crisis of growing poverty, a rise in unemployment rate and deterioration in living conditions and a massive assault on the dignity of the Palestinians.

The UN coordinator pointed out that the Palestinians are victims of the absence of protection from violence and the denial of human, economic, political and social rights; besides, they have to face the geographical fragmentation of their land as well as restrictions imposed by Israel on their freedom of movement.

The siege of Gaza, which was aggravated by the IOA a week ago, claimed the lives of more than 75 Palestinian patients because of the Israeli restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement.

For its part, the health ministry in the caretaker government headed by premier Ismail Haneyya strongly denounced what was stated by the IOA that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza had ended after it allowed in small quantity of fuel, calling on media outlets and human rights organizations not to deal with these Israeli false statements which aim to escape from condemnations against its arbitrary policy.

The ministry warned Wednesday in a press release received by the PIC of the seriousness of the coming hours which threaten to claim more Palestinian lives as a result of the tightening Israeli siege and the closure of crossings for about eight months.

The ministry said that the sections of intensive care for children and babies in different hospitals are on the threshold of a real disaster because of power outages and lack of enough fuel for generators used to operate medical devices.

The ministry added that the depletion of many medicines for the treatment of serious diseases led to health deterioration of many cases, which increased the likelihood that many of these serious cases may die soon.

The IOA has announced Thursday morning that it stopped completely the entry of the fuel supplies into Gaza because of the opening of the borders between Egypt and Gaza.

For his part, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, held US president George Bush fully responsible for the genocide and crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Gaza people.