Islam Times Correspondent in Gaza stated that the government Committee to break the siege and to receive the delegations in Gaza stressed in a report that there are other losses, such as: expanding the buffer zone along the borders of the Gaza Strip, up to (500) meters in width. This leads the agricultural sector to become weaker and deprive the farmers from being able of exploiting and cultivating an area of about (25) thousand acres, which are one of the most fertile agricultural lands located in the north, east and south of the Gaza Strip. In addition, the agricultural enterprises and livestock production facilities in these isolated areas have been destroyed.
The committee said in its report that the construction sector faced a decline and a sharp and continuous deterioration. More than 95% of the construction companies have suspended their work. Moreover, most of the private and public constructional and developmental projects have been disrupted because of the closure of the crossings and because of preventing the entry of construction materials.
The committee added, “The inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are suffering because of the impacts of the siege. In fact, the closure of the port of the Rafah crossing, which is the Strip’s only way to the outside world, represents another sign of the reality of the siege. Thousands of people who are in need of leaving the Gaza Strip are stuck on both sides of the crossing, including thousands of students who are already registered in universities, institutes of higher education, and schools abroad. This threatens their academic and educational future. Additionally, the building of the steel wall adds further suffering, especially after the Palestinian people sought to face the siege through developing the methods that ensure their survival. Thus, they excavated the ground and dug tunnels in the rock through which they could provide little bit of their needs, and yet have paid in return the lives of more than 130 citizens”.
The Committee considered that the imposed siege is a process of systematic killing and a slow death practiced against the population of the strip. It also considered that it is a flagrant violation of their right to live, and a destruction of what is remaining of its components.
Therefore, it called upon the international community in general- based upon its humanitarian and ethical obligations, and based upon its primary commitments to protect human rights- to intervene immediately to end the unjust siege and to impose all the necessary pressure in this regard.
It also renewed its request to the brethrens in Egypt to open the Rafah crossing permanently or regularly, taking into consideration the health, food and humanitarian necessities, in order to avoid being listed in history as a state that abandoned its role in assisting the Palestinian people during the time of their misery.
Furthermore, it asked the European Union to take steps that are more serious on the official level. We do believe that the European side - with what it has of influence in the region - is able to put an end to the siege forever. At the same time, we do thank the popular and community movements, which are supporting Gaza, and which were present in various European countries.
The committee called upon the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and all the Arab and Islamic governments to assume full responsibility for this tragic situation, and to work hard to alleviate this suffering, and to implement the resolutions issued in this regard.
It stated, “The government Committee began to finalize the preparations to receive the convoys of International ships to break the siege, which are to arrive in the Gaza Strip at the end of this month. It therefore thanks all those who are working to facilitate the arrival of the ships coming from different countries, and salutes those who are coming with them”.
It considered that these convoys, with what they carry of necessary humanitarian assistance, are an important factor to reduce the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in particular the health and infrastructure. In practice, the convoys are considered the largest and the most qualified ones, since more than one thousand supporters who represent more than 17 countries are coming with them, including a number of formal leaders.
It also stated in its report, “In the framework of its continuous and permanent contact, the government Committee prepared several messages. These messages are going to be sent in the coming days to each of the Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa, the Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Chairman of the Arab summit in the current session, and the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Mr. Akmal Ehsan Oglu. In these messages, the committee explains the effects of the siege, urges them to make more efforts to lift it, and invites them to visit the Gaza Strip and to take a closer look at the reality of the suffering of its people”.
The government Committee announced the launching of a popular international campaign aiming at collecting one million signatures to reject the siege on the Gaza Strip, and to undertake several activities in different Arab and Islamic countries. The signatures will be collected and attached with a letter, and will be sent to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to demand issuing an obligating international resolution to end the siege.
The government Committee will be organizing an International conference, which will take place next October in Gaza under the title: Together to break the siege. The conference aims at supporting the advocacy efforts to lift the siege through the participation of representatives from several countries.
© Islam Times
Translation By Mayssa Hazimeh