Petition urging U.S. administration to lift Israeli siege on Gaza
Representatives of the civil society in the blockaded Gaza Strip launched on Thursday a petition urging the U.S. administration to work on lifting the illegal and non-humanitarian Israeli siege on Gaza.
The campaigners said during a press conference held outside the U.N. office in Gaza that the siege, imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities for the 10th year running, makes part of a policy of collective punishment endured by two million Palestinians.
Head of the Women’s Affairs Center in Gaza, Amal Seyam, announced the launch of a petition urging the U.S. administration, led by President Barack Obama, to seriously work on lifting the siege on Gaza.
Seyam called on the Palestinians and all the concerned parties, nationwide and overseas, to sign the petition starting 8 p.m. local time on Thursday.
The activist denied Israeli claims that the noose tightened around Gazans’ neck has been recently alleviated, saying Gaza’s exports have been estimated at 2.2% of the overall export rate before 2007.
She raised alarm bells over the acute shortage in the needed industrial and building materials to reconstruct the homes destroyed by three Israeli offensives on the besieged coastal enclave in less than six years.
According to Seyam, the cement quantities allowed into Gaza do not exceed 3.7% of the Strip’s needs.
“A humanitarian tragedy has rocked the Strip because of the blockade. The situation has gone from bad to worse for Palestinian civilians,” Seyam said. “According to the World Bank, unemployment rate has hit 43% in Gaza and 40% of the enclave’s inhabitants have been living below the poverty line.”
“Two U.N. reports warned the U.N. humanitarian team and the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020,” the activist further warned.