Gaza has been under intensified Israeli closure since 2007, with movement and access restrictions imposed by Israel. This June, Palestinians mark 13 years since the start of the Gaza closure.
As the world responds to COVID-19, Palestinians in Gaza are particularly susceptible to the pandemic in one of the world’s most densely populated regions.
Only 4% of water is fit for human use and consumption, and sanitation services are limited. Gaza’s healthcare system faced collapse even before the coronavirus pandemic.
The UN has repeatedly warned that Gaza would become uninhabitable by 2020 should Israel fail to lift the closure. Today, half of Palestinians in Gaza live in poverty, 80% depend on some form of humanitarian aid, 68% are food insecure, and 69% of the youth are unemployed.
In 2019, the UN Commission of Inquiry called on Israel, the occupying power, to “Lift the blockade on Gaza with immediate effect.”
The international community has widely regarded Israel’s closure of Gaza as illegal. The hardship imposed on the civilian population of Gaza by the closure penalises them for acts they have not committed. In 2016 the UN Secretary-General said, “it is a collective punishment for which there must be accountability.”
We urge third States to live up to their responsibility to bring Israel’s illegal closure of Gaza to an end.
This petition will also serve as the basis for a joint civil society statement calling for an end to this injustice.