12 Rights Groups Slam Israel’s ’Illegal, Immoral’ Restrictions on Gaza Goods Crossing
Story Code : 739301
The organizations said on Tuesday Tel Aviv’s decision to completely halt the supply of fuel and cooking gas to Gaza and would reduce Gaza’s fishing zone to only three nautical miles offshore amounted to an “immoral act of collective punishment".
The rights groups said "This is a dangerous step that further intensifies the measures imposed by Israel at Kerem Shalom where Israel allows only medicine and basic food products.
The statement’s signatories included Gisha, Adalah, Amnesty International Israel, Ir Amim, MachsomWatch, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Yesh Din.
Israeli regime says the inhuman sanctions are imposed in response to incendiary kites being sent into occupied territories from Gaza. However, the rights organizations say Tel Aviv's retaliation “cannot be to deliberately harm innocent civilians.”
They called the measure “dangerous” and “irresponsible,” noting that regime's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s decision Monday to halt fuel transfer into the besieged Strip “will stop generators used to power homes, businesses, and other essential services,” exacerbating the severe humanitarian crisis there.
"Closing Gaza’s major crossing for movement of goods, the main lifeline for almost two million people, half of whom are children, constitutes an illegal and immoral act of collective punishment,” they said.
Liberman’s office announced on Monday that between Tuesday and Sunday, no fuel will enter Gaza through Kerem Shalom. The entry of food and medicine will continue, but will require explicit permission from Israeli regime. Additionally, Gaza fishermen will only be allowed to venture three kilometers (1.8 miles) into the Mediterranean Sea, down from the current six kilometers.
Those restrictions were added to those imposed by Israel last week, when the regime halted exports of Gazan produce and stopped most goods from going into the Strip.
Hamas that controls Gaza enclave warned Israel of “dangerous consequences” for the fresh restrictions, calling them “a crime against humanity".
The European Union also criticized the restrictions, saying it “expects Israel to reverse these decisions” which risked “further aggravating the already dire economic situation in Gaza.”
Kerem Shalom is the only cargo crossing between Gaza and territories occupied by Israeli regime. The Strip has been subject to a strict blockade for the past 11 years. Egypt also tightly controls the Rafah border crossing into the Sinai.