GAZA: One year on and next?

PNN/ Bethlehem/

One year after a devastating war, Première Urgence – Aide Médicale International (PU-AMI) urged the international community to address the continuing disastrous situation affecting the Gaza strip especially in the Access Restricted Area (ARA) where Israel continues enforcing strict access restrictions on both land and sea.

The ARA covers about 17% of Gaza’s total land and 35% of Gaza’s arable land hence hindering dramatically Gaza’s farming capacity. Farmers from the area, already deeply affected by the war, face difficulties and risks to access their lands impacting further their capacity to make a living in a place where unemployment rises up to 44% (World Bank report, 22 May 2015).

Incursions and incidents are still going on: Ganso records 400 incidents of Israeli border fire into Gaza – an average of more than one a day.

The blockade which has been in place for 8 years now deepens the humanitarian crisis by preventing essential goods and also construction material to enter the Gaza strip where about 17 600 families are still considered as displaced from their homes.

To face the situation, PU-AMI provided emergency support during and following the war to the most affected families in the middle and the south of the Gaza strip (Additional information in annex).

One year after the start of the 51 days war, urgent attention needs to be given to Gaza in order to speed up the reconstruction process which is the only way to ensure a safe and viable future to its inhabitants.