A boy poses in front of one of more than 4,000 houses in the Gaza Strip that the UN said were totally destroyed or beyond repair after the war. (c) IRIN 2010. Photo by Sahari Karam/Irin. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE COMPLETE SLIDESHOW
Today, we delivered a petition to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, asking her to urge the Israeli government to lift the blockade of Gaza immediately. More than 23,000 people signed the petition, making it Amnesty International’s most successful Facebook petition to date.
>> Check out IRIN News’ photo gallery, which showcases powerful photographs of life in Gaza.
Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip leaves more than 1.4 million Palestinians cut off from necessary and life-saving supplies, exacerbating a situation of extreme and desperate poverty. The blockade restricts the entry of basic goods, such as food and fuel, on which the population depends on for survival.
The blockade is strangling virtually every aspect of life for Gaza’s population, more than half of whom are children. The increasing isolation and suffering of the people of Gaza cannot be allowed to continue. The Israeli government must comply with binding legal obligation, as the occupying power, to lift the blockade without further delay – Malcolm Smart, Middle East and North Africa Director, Amnesty International
Israel argues that the blockade is a natural response to the continued attacks by Palestinian armed groups, including the rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel. But the blockade doesn’t distinguish between those responsible for the rocket attacks and those who are just trying to make it through another day. It collectively punishes the entire population of Gaza, including many women and children, who are just trying to survive with no resources.
The people of Gaza share with everyone else the right to dignified lives, free of indiscriminate and prolonged suffering. They should not be subjected to this continuation of collective punishment brought on by the blockade – Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory
To learn about similar petitions in the future, please join Amnesty International USA on Facebook.
Learn more about the situation in Gaza:
Suffocating: The Gaza Strip Under the Israeli Blockade (PDF)
Troubled Waters – Palestinians Denied Fair Access to Water (PDF)