State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 – 30 September 2020)
In conjunction with the coronavirus outbreak in the Gaza Strip, and recording hundreds of infections and several deaths outside quarantine centers, the Israeli authorities continued its illegal and inhuman closure on the Gaza Strip for the 14th consecutive year.
The tightened closure restrictions led to a catastrophic deterioration in humanitarian conditions, a collapsed health system, and weak economic infrastructure in Gaza, which negatively affected abilty of the Gaza Strip authorities to to confront the spread of the Corona virus. This also reflected poorly on the provision of basic services for at least 2 million Palestinians who live in poor living conditions in the Gaza Strip, which is classified as the most overpopulated area in the whole world.
Additionally, medical faicilities struggled to operate due to the electricity crisis, especially as they were already worn-thin before the outbreak of coronavirus in the the Gaza Strip with shortages in coronavirus testing kits, urgent need for intensive care units, respirators, and coronavirus diagnostic equipment, medicines, medical consumables and protective gear to prepare it to combat coronavirus. However, hospitals and medical centers currently suffer from a serious shortage of 45% of the essential drugs list, and 31% of medical consumables, and 65% of laboratory products and blood banking supplies.
The Gaza economy incurred huge losses due to the suspension of work in industrial, commercial and agricultural facilities that the mechanism of their productions depend on electricivity. For the 14th consecutive year, these facilities suffered from the Israeli restrictions on the entry of goods classified as “dual-use items.” These items are issential for the civilian population, and the ban on their entry is a main factor in the deteriorating infrastructure, economic, health and education sectors.
The continued Israeli closure on the Gaza Strip warns of a true catastrophie which shall deepen its humanitarian and living crises especially with the skyrocketing unemployment, poverty and food insecurity. The Gaza unemployment rate is 46% (i.e. 211,300 are unemployed), 63% of which is among youth. Also, more than half of the Gaza Strip population live in poverty as the poverty rate reached around 53% according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, more than 62.2% of the Gaza Population suffer from food insecurity according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).