It Has Been Decades of Setbacks and Struggle for the People of Gaza…
June 5, 2021
Today marks the 54th anniversary of Al Naksa. This translates to ‘the setback’ and was the second major displacement of Palestinians after the June War in 1967. Over 300,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes and the West Bank and Gaza Strip came under the direct military occupation of the Israeli state.
Since the Naksa, settlers moved into the Gaza Strip and it became a place of constant violence, repression and discrimination for Palestinians. Israel’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005 saw them remove settlements but then impose a blockade that only worsened over time and has been in effect for over 13 years.
There are over 1.8 million refugees in Gaza. The impact of the Nakba and then the Naksa continue today and Gaza is now ‘unliveable’ because of the siege and multiple large scale bombardments.
The Gaza Strip is too often misrepresented in the media and in discussions about Palestine and Israel. The humanitarian crisis became more acute with the siege, but prior to that people in Gaza were already struggling with the fear of violence, a lack of freedom of movement, a stunted economy and discriminatory laws due to the occupation.
The people of Gaza are too easily dehumanised and blamed for their own suffering. They are cut off from the rest of the world and the West Bank. Families are divided, friends are kept apart and opportunities are denied to people.
The military occupation of the Palestinian territories is a polarising and debated topic, much like the Naksa itself. However, the humanitarian impact is obvious and well documented. The water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption, over a third of medicines and disposables are at zero stock levels during a global pandemic and we just witnessed Gaza being pumelled with bombs that has left much of it in ruins and thousands of families displaced again.
As we remember the Naksa, it is important to understand that the history of Palestine, and specifically of the Gaza Strip did not begin in 2006 and the humanitarian crisis is decades of policies, neglect, deliberate violence and a siege that is wholly unacceptable to anyone with a conscience.
iF Charity are committed to providing effective and needed aid for the people of Gaza, but we also understand that beyond that, the people of Gaza need real change and the ability to recover and rebuild, not just survive.