3rd Thursday Alert: Urge Congress to support urgent humanitarian assistance to Gaza; end the blockade

3rd_Thursday_logo.jpgIn August 2012, the UN predicted Gaza would be unlivable by 2020. A new UN report released this month indicates that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating even faster with declining income, employment, healthcare, education, electricity and fresh water.

A snapshot from the newer UN report “Gaza: Ten Years Later” reveals a humanitarian disaster:

  • Gaza’s population: 2 million (projected 3.1 million by 2030)
  • Unemployment rate: 42% (13% increase from 2012)
  • Water: only 3.8% of the aquifer is safe for drinking and the aquifer is projected to be unusable by the end of 2017
  • Humanitarian assistance: 1.2 million people
  • Housing shortage: 120,000 homes
  • Electricity: 2-4 hours a day (down from 8-12 before April)
  • Electricity supply and demand: supply is 120-142 megawatts (MW) and the demand is 450 MW

“This year electricity is the most visible deterioration in the living conditions in Gaza but it comes on top of a host of other chronic and acute problems that have become part of ‘normal’ life. An 11 year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime,” writes Robert Piper, UN coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

According to the UN report the situation “requires immediate action by all parties; by Israel, the PA [Palestinian Authority], Hamas and by the international community towards more sustainable development, reinvigoration of Gaza’s productive sectors, improvement of freedom of movement for both people and goods, as well as respect for human rights and international law.”

Write to your members of Congress: Call for immediate humanitarian relief assistance for Gaza, U.S. pressure on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to end the urgent electricity crisis and an end to the blockade on Gaza. Ask them to communicate these concerns to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Write to your newspapers and ask them to write an article based on this UN report.

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Below is a sample letter you can use to write to your elected officials. You can use the letter as it is, or you change it and add your personal insights that underscore the message:

Dear Senator/Representative,

I am writing to draw your attention to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. A recent UN report, “Gaza: Ten Years Later”, describes how the people of Gaza are facing a humanitarian disaster:

  • Gaza’s population: 2 million (projected 3.1 million by 2030)
  • Unemployment rate: 42% (13% increase from 2012)
  • Water: only 3.8% of the aquifer is safe for drinking and the aquifer is projected to be unusable by the end of 2017
  • Humanitarian assistance: 1.2 million people
  • Housing shortage: 120,000 homes
  • Electricity: 2-4 hours a day (down from 8-12 before April)
  • Electricity supply and demand: supply is 120-142 megawatts (MW) and the demand is 450 MW

“This year electricity is the most visible deterioration in the living conditions in Gaza but it comes on top of a host of other chronic and acute problems that have become part of ‘normal’ life. An 11 year-old child has not experienced more than 12 hours of electricity in a single day in his/her lifetime,” writes Robert Piper, UN coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

According to the UN report the situation “requires immediate action by all parties; by Israel, the PA [Palestinian Authority], Hamas and by the international community towards more sustainable development, reinvigoration of Gaza’s productive sectors, improvement of freedom of movement for both people and goods, as well as respect for human rights and international law.”

As a person of faith, I urge that you:

  • Support immediate humanitarian relief assistance for Gaza,
  • Call on Secretary of State Tillerson to pressure Israel and the Palestinian Authority to end the urgent electricity crisis and for Israel to end to its blockade of Gaza.

I believe that the well-being of the people of Gaza should not be subject to political disputes.

I thank you for your consideration, and I offer you my prayers for your service,

Sincerely,

 


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