In its annual report that was submitted to the Security Council on Wednesday, regarding the humanitarian situation and human rights in the occupied territories, the United Nations (UN) reported that the Israeli siege on Gaza is an act of collective punishment, and is directly impacting the daily lives of more than 1.6 million Palestinians living in the coastal enclave.The report, that was prepared upon an official Palestinian request, indicated that compared to 2010, there is a 30% increase in the number of Palestinians who are impacted by the Israeli policies and occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
It also revealed that the Palestinians are having more hardships when it comes to obtaining basic services, including food supplies.
The UN further stated that Israel is still enforcing the siege on the Gaza Strip, adding that this siege is an act of collective punishment as it impacts all aspects of life. This is in addition to Israel’s severe restrictions on fishermen and farmers and to its restrictions on the freedom of movement of the people and the goods, an issue that created health and educational hardships.
The report also discussed what was described as the “complex situation” in occupied Jerusalem due to home demolitions, and the fact the residents have became more isolated from the West Bank due to the Annexation Wall.
Also, the West Bank area classified by Israel as area C (60%), which is under full Israeli control, is under increased pressure due to the ongoing military incursions, settlement activities and attacks carried out by Jewish settlers, home demolitions, and the expulsion of civilians from homes and lands.
The report also stated that more Palestinians need urgent international aid in the occupied territories. It stressed the importance of the resumption of peace talks, and called on Israel to respect human rights regulations as stated by all related international laws.
Israel’s UN envoy, Ron Prosor, slammed the report for what he called “the waste of time on an issue that is not considered a humanitarian crisis.’
He further stated that Gaza production rates witnessed a 28% increase, adding that “there are four million hungry persons in Somalia,’ and “There is no drinking water in Sudan, Haiti and Afghanistan.’