Monday, 10 March 2008

Out of sight out of mind?

So, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has approved plans to build up to 750 new homes in Givat Zeev a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Under the terms of the peace process settlement expansion is supposed to be frozen. But apparently this has been ignored, and Israel’s housing minister has said that the construction will address “"the demographic needs of Jerusalem".
And this in the aftermath of a report that says that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is at its worst since Israel seized the territory in 1967.

This study was conducted by eight British-based human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Save the Children and found that more than 80 per cent of the 1.1 million population of Gaza are now dependent on food aid

Unemployment has risen to 40 per cent after around 70 per cent of the 110,000 workers employed in the private sector lost their jobs.
The report comes just days after a spate of Israeli raids left more than 120 Palestinians and three days after a Palestinian gunman opened fire in a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, killing eight young people.
Hospitals in Gaza are suffering from power cuts of up to 12 hours a day, and the water and sewage systems are close to collapse, with 40-50 million litres of sewage pouring into the sea daily.

Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens, but as the occupying power in Gaza it also has a legal duty to ensure that Gazans have access to food, clean water, electricity and medical care.

When is Israel going to end its blockade of Gaza and for both sides to stop cease cross-border attacks?

Is punishing the entire Gazan population by denying them basic human needs in any way defensible ?

Does anyone have an answer to any of these problems? And if they do – please can we do something quickly before more innocent lives are lost.