The ongoing Israeli military siege, closure and economic and social restrictions imposed on Palestinians have contributed to extremely high unemployment and poverty rates in the Gaza Strip, and a food crisis that is nearing famine proportions, according to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights.
In a press release on Tuesday, the Center revealed that the Israeli closure of Karni Crossing since February 21 has brought about great suffering for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. The crossing constitutes the sole economic access for people in the Gaza Strip to import foods and fruits and to export agricultural products and crops like flowers, strawberry, tomatoes, chill peppers and cucumber.
"Palestinian markets in the Gaza Strip are running out of milk, cheese, sugar, and rice. Palestinian farmers faced a great loss after their products were damaged and thus were not exported, this has negatively affected the farmers’ source of living and limited their ability to resume work due to loss and damage of crops," the Center added.
The Al Mezan Center report called on the international community to immediately intervene to halt Israeli collective punishment against Palestinians and to force Israel to abide by the Convention and lift the siege on Gaza, which constitutes a threat against all aspects of Palestinian life.