Gaza Strip to become uninhabitable?

The situation in the Palestinian enclave has reached a critical point. If no action is taken, by 2020, Gaza will become uninhabitable. This is stated in the report recently published by the UN. The greatest concern is the lack of clinics, hospitals, and schools. Only the global community can help. According to the UN, Israel is to blame for the problems of Gaza.

According to the UN report, by 2020, it will be necessary to build 440 new schools and increase the number of hospital beds to eight hundred. Furthermore, for the normal operation of medical institutions a thousand medical specialists will have to be found. Another, no less acute problem in the Gaza Strip is the disruption of power and water supply. The report notes that the water, electrical equipment, and the social services do not meet the basic needs of the population. In the future, lack of drinking water could reach 60 percent. In addition, sewage waste is often dumped into the sea without any treatment.

Perhaps most disturbing is the continuing rise in unemployment, which now stands at 45 percent. In the Palestinian territories under siege there is almost no industry, and obtaining permits for Palestinians to work in Israel cannot save the situation. The authors of the report call for the immediate attention to the key issues of the region.

If it does not happen, by the year 2020 Gaza will be unfit for life. If now the enclave's population is 1.6 million people, eight years later the number will increase by half a million people - the average density of the population is 5,800 people per square km, the report stated. According to UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs Maxwell Gaylard, Gaza is under the siege, and its residents - under occupation. They require both political and practical help. To improve the lives of Palestinians the siege and the conflict must end.

The UN has been criticizing Israel for some years. It is fair to recognize that the Israeli government has committed a lot of strategic miscalculations, trying to combine the techniques of "carrot and stick" in dealing with the administration of the Palestinian Authority. A disproportionate use of force during Operation "Cast Lead" in 2009 hardly helped to settle the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, it should be noted that another attempt to shift all the blame for the state of affairs in the Gaza Strip on Israel only plays into the hands of extremists.

In this regard, the Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor expressed dissatisfaction with the UN position, which, in his opinion, is biased. He said that this week, Israeli children began the new school year to the unfortunately familiar sound of sirens and explosions, when terrorists from the Gaza Strip fired another six rockets at their communities. While Israeli schoolchildren were hiding in bomb shelters, the UN announced another biased report on Gaza. Apparently, the roar of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip did not reach the deaf ears of the UN experts who wrote the report, said the chairman Ron Prosor in his letter to the Security Council.

In any case, the current crisis in the Gaza Strip did not start yesterday. Analysts attribute the crisis to the advent of the radical group Hamas in 2007, which, incidentally, led to a toughening of Israel policy in the region.

"The main thing is the inability of Haniyeh to bring order to the economic situation in the Gaza Strip," said Scheglovin, an expert from the Institute of the Middle East. "In particular, the population suffers greatly from a terrible expensive diesel fuel, which is the main source of electricity. Diesel has become a very important source of income for the Hamas functionaries, since the vast majority of it is delivered to Gaza by smuggling through tunnels. This allows to avoid tax payments that occur, for example, when diesel fuel is delivered to Gaza from Israel (about 40 percent of total imports)," the expert commented on the situation with electricity in the Gaza Strip in April of 2012.

It is obvious that the Palestinian Arab allies do not always provide adequate support for the residents of the autonomy because of a power struggle for influence in the region. In addition, contrary to the expectations, after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, some friction emerged in the relations between Egypt and Hamas group. Analysts point out that after the terrorist attacks in Sinai, Cairo further distanced itself from Hamas, and hundreds of people from the Palestinian enclave were banned from entering the country. It is unclear when and how a way out of the Palestinian impasse will be found. Neither the Arab countries, no the United Nations attended to the adoption of comprehensive measures to address the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, which means that the situation is likely to deteriorate further.

Yuri Sosinsky-Semikhat


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov