Why is Gaza cut off from the world?
April 15, 2021
The Gaza Strip Explained…
There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis and blockade in Gaza that has left over 2 million people trapped in an ‘unliveable’ place.
- The Gaza Strip is a small patch on the Mediterranean Coast and bordering Israel and Egypt.
- The Gaza Strip came under Israeli occupation in 1967.
- The majority of Gaza’s inhabitants are refugees (an estimated 80%) from nearby towns and villages that had to flee their homes during the Nakba.
- The land, sea and air siege was put in place by Israel in 2007 and this means they are able to control Gaza’s borders, ports and air space.
- Since 2009, Gaza has faced 3 large scale bombardments as well as ongoing violence aimed at farmers along its border and fishermen on the coast.
- The people of Gaza are unable to import or export goods without the explicit permission of Israel and this has severely hampered their economy and trade.
- The movement of people in and out of Gaza is controlled entirely by the Israeli authorities, impacting people’s ability to seek jobs, education, treatment and even see family without permissions that are very difficult to get.
Gaza has essentially been cut off from the rest of the world and tourism, trade, free movement of people and growth have been severely restricted. The economy has been failing and infrastructure is damaged from both the siege and three large scale bombardments.
- Over 95% of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption and its coastal aquifer is damaged beyond repair.
- Over 80% of the population are reliant on international assistance for day to day survival.
- Unemployment is as high as 50% in some demographic groups and is one of the highest rates in the world.
- Electricity and power are in constant shortage and at some points the people of Gaza have been without electricity for over 20 hours a day.
- Over a third of vital medicines and medical disposables are at Zero Stock levels.
- There is a worryingly high prevalence of ongoing traumatic stress disorder and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Whilst the cause of the siege is political, the concerns for people in Gaza are humanitarian and valid. The UN declared that Gaza would be ‘unliveable’ if things did not improve in 2012. Things have only worsened since then and Gaza is indeed a difficult place to live and achieve basic human needs such as clean water, healthcare, access to work and safety from violence.
The Covid 19 Pandemic has only worsened poverty and deprivation in Gaza. The impact of the Pandemic will be felt for many years and recovery is impossible whilst the siege continues.