COVID – ‘Blocked within a blockade’ in besieged Gaza


Eight years ago, the United Nations said the Gaza Strip would not be a “place to live” by 2020. He called on Israel to lift its years of blockade of the Palestinian coastal insurgency and to call for stronger and more “Arakanese” efforts to improve infrastructure. Services

Israel and Egypt are in a state of panic. Land and sea blockades continue, but most have displaced nearly two million people in the area since 2007.

By 2020, the shortage of water and medicine and severe power outages had significantly reduced the situation, with the poorest people receiving only six hours of electricity a day.

This year it has spread around the world. Coronavirus, which infects millions of people and lives in almost every country, only exacerbates Gaza’s plight.

“I can not stand it anymore.”

Mahmoud Abu Samaan, 34, an employee of the Hamas Ministry of Communications, said: “People in Gaza have had enough of their lives and have not been able to make a definite change from one problem to another.

Electricity Food Without money, people cannot be made to sit in their homes. It is blocked within a block

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been more than 36,000 cases and 310 deaths in Gaza. The virus spread rapidly in overcrowded areas, where 70 percent of the population were refugees living in overcrowded camps.

“This is a blockade,” said Mahmoud Abu Samaan [Bashar Taleb/Al Jazeera]

Hamas, which controls the Riyadh, stopped praying in mosques on Friday and closed restaurants, cafes and bars. Wedding halls and receptions were closed. The ban has left thousands of people unemployed, exacerbating the unemployment rate of more than 50 percent before the outbreak.

Abu Samaan said he and all four of his family had been diagnosed with the virus. “I’m so scared,” he said. “It’s not a virus, but it’s a bad health care system,” he said. ”

He added: “This is not a coronavirus but an ongoing blockade that is ruining our lives. ”

‘Things We Cannot Count’

Wafa Abu Abu Wit, an English teacher, also contracted the virus with her husband and five children.

The 40-year-old said a total of 19 people in her extended family were ill. But Abu Kwaik said she and her relatives did not receive adequate care.

“My 62-year-old mother’s condition worsened due to high blood pressure and diabetes,” said Bukuwait.

Wafaa Abu Kwaik said hospitals in Gaza could not treat patients [Photo courtesy of Wafaa Kwaik]

Her mother was in critical condition but recovered after spending 15 days in intensive care.

“The situation is very difficult,” he said. There were hundreds of cases a day and not enough sleep. Health workers can not handle these figures. Most people are not infected with the virus, but have access to medical devices and equipment. It is bad because there are no medical facilities. ”


The Israeli-Egyptian embargo has worsened Gaza’s health care system.

Abd al-Latif al-Hajj, director of international co-operation at Hamas Health Ministry, said the blockade of Gaza and the Israeli military’s strong opposition to the health care system for years during the three-year offensive.

“This year, 47 percent of medicines and 32 percent of medical devices still need medical laboratories,” he said.

There are also medical staff who work with limited capacity due to lack of regular salaries.

Al-Hajj said the situation in Gaza hospitals was dire with the COVID-19 incident. People with other chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer, have not been able to leave Gaza for treatment due to the outbreak. :

Al-Hajj says Israel has begun vaccinating its citizens and neglecting responsibility for the Gaza Strip.

No one can force Israel to fulfill its responsibilities to the Palestinians.

‘Pour oil on the fire’

Israel imposed a trade embargo in June 2007 after taking control of Hamas.

The United Nations has called for an end to the Israeli blockade, saying the fourth Geneva Conventions stipulate that sanctions impose a collective punishment on two million Gaza residents.

Egypt extends its restrictions to the Palestinians through the Rafah border crossing and disputes with the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank.

The PA has limited transfers to Gaza.

“We have to find new words to describe the situation in Gaza,” said Omar Shaban, a Gaza-based political analyst.

The United Nations said in 2012 it was impossible to stay in Gaza. The 2014 war, which lasted 51 days and destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure, sparked military tensions and sanctions.

He added: “In 2020, the coronavirus came to burn oil, and this situation is deteriorating at every stage. ”

In April, 19 human rights groups called on Israel to stop invading Gaza and equip the region with the necessary medical supplies to deal with the epidemic.

Gaza cannot do that

Azzam Shaath, a legal researcher at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, says Israel has a responsibility to seize power to protect Palestinians living in Gaza.

He will take care of urgent needs. Equipment; Medical assistance should be provided.

Israel should immediately remove sanctions and other barriers to trade that threaten trade and public health.

He called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

“The international community needs to understand that this is not possible in Gaza,” he said.

“What we have seen in the world this year is what the people of Gaza have suffered during the 14 years of Israeli sanctions,” he said. ”

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