The Blockade denies the Palestinians in the Gaza strip their basic human rights, in contradiction to international law. It severly obtructs their possibility to import and export merchandise and to travel in and out of their country. It denies them admittance to their agricultural land and fishing grounds. Added up, the Blockade is a form of collective punishment which deprive the inhabitants the possibility to support themselves, security of food supplies, medical care, education, drinkable water and cultural exchange.
Short overview of the Gaza strip and the Blockade
- The Gaza Strip has its name after Gaza, the large port in the North. The Strip consists of a long, narrow coastal stretch between Egypt and Israel.
- The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions in the world (over 4,500 people per sq. km)
- More than half of the population is below 18 years of age.
- More than a quarter million of Gaza's inhabitants has been born since the Blockade was tightened in 2007.
- 38% of the inhabitants live below the poverty level as defined by the UN.
- 56% of the inhabitants live under unsafe nutritional conditions as defined by the UN.
- 75% are dependent on international relief aid.
- More than 30% of the labour force is unemployed.
- Average wages have decreased with 20% during the last 6 years.
- 35% of the agricultural land on the Gaza Strip is fully or partially unavailable due to buffer zones and other Israeli military precautions.
- 85% of the Palestinian fishing waters by the Gaza coast is entirely inaccessible due to restrictions imposed by the Israeli navy.
- More than 90% of Gaza's water sources are unfit as drinking water.
- 85% of the Schools plan their teaching in double shifts due to lack of proper premises.
Sources: OCHAOPT - United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Occupied Palestinian Territory, CIA - The World Fact Book, Gisha - Legal Center for freedom of movement