Ending Occupation and Lifting Closure is Solution to End Humanitarian Crisis in the Gaza Strip
Brussels: In light of the aggravating humanitarian crises resulting from the Israeli practices, 11 years of inhuman and illegal closure and collective punishment against 2 million people, PCHR warned of the explosion of the situation in the Gaza Strip. PCHR also warned of the exploitation of the humanitarian crisis to undermine the Palestinian right to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 and denial of the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination and return of refugees, through paving the way for establishing a political entity in the Gaza Strip, pointing out to the latest discussions in the White House and Trump Administration’s plan of complete coordination with Israel.
All of the abovementioned was said by Deputy Director of the Palestinian center for human rights (PCHR) for Programs Affairs, Hamdi Shaqqura, during a panel discussion on the situation in the Gaza Strip organized by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EuroMed Rights) in Brussels on Wednesday morning, with a broad participation of the Palestinian, Arab, Israeli and international Member Organizations and many international development organizations active in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). Shaqqura said that the situation in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse and is a direct result of the occupation and closure, which has paralyzed all productive sectors and infrastructure. He added that the only way to end the humanitarian crisis is by ending the occupation and lifting the closure. Shaqqoura condemned the silence of the international community and its failure to take effective measures to confront the Israeli crimes. He added that the international community has bet on a barren peace process through which international law and human rights have been sacrificed. However, Israel has turned against this process because Israel wanted to create facts on the ground making it impossible to end the occupation and establish a Palestinian state. Shaqqoura added that the history of the occupation is a history of deepening separation and the dismemberment of the oPt in order to tighten control over it by intensifying settlement activity through land looting and building the annexation wall on the one hand and imposing restrictions on freedom of movement on the other hand as we rudely see in the Gaza Strip and all the West Bank, which turned into geographically unrelated cantons. Moreover, Israel established a peerless system of apartheid where settlers dominate as their number has grown more than threefold since the beginning of the settlement process. Shaqoura stressed on the importance of supporting national reconciliation efforts and ending the internal division, calling upon the two parties to the division to give preference to national interests and to proceed seriously in order to achieve reconciliation in a way that guarantees rehabilitating the political system and Palestinian Authority institutions and holding the general elections. As Member of the Executive Committee of EuroMed Rights and a political reference to the EuroMed Rights Working Group on Israel/Palestine and the Palestinians, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Programs Affairs opened an international workshop organized by the Group in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday 26 and 27 March, with active participation of human rights organizations members, Palestinian, Arab and Israeli, with the active participation of Palestinian, Israeli and Arab human rights Member Organizations and other international human rights and development organizations. The workshop addressed the crackdown on civil society, especially the policies and measures practiced by Israel that have affected the human rights organizations.