CMEP Action Alert: Raise Your Voice for Gazans Suffering from Storm and Blockade
#Palestine, #Israel, #Gaza
On December 11, the people of Gaza were hit by heavy rains and freezing temperatures that exacerbated an already perilous humanitarian crisis. The situation is serious. Raise your voice and tell President Obama to increase U.S. relief and development efforts and encourage ending Israel’s blockade of Gaza.
For Gazans the situation is growing increasingly dire. On December 14, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that:
- At least 1,500 homes have been damaged or destroyed due to flooding
- Over 10,000 people have been displaced from their homes
- One infant has died as a result of exposure to cold weather and an additional 100 people have reported storm related injuries.
It is anticipated that thousands more people have been or will be displaced from their homes this week.
UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said Saturday, “Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.”
In November, due to the ongoing situation and lack of resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gaza’s main power station was regularly shut down leaving 1.7 million Gazans in the dark for up to 18 hours a day. Sewage treatment facilities are unable to function without power, causing the overflow into Gaza’s streets. The flooding this week has made the situation worse.
CMEP commends Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Qatar for assisting in providing immediate needs caused by the recent weather, but more must be done to end the long-term suffering of the Gazan people.
(Photos by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)