greece aid to gaza 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Eighty percent of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip is dependent on
humanitarian aid, while the number of unemployed has increased by 40% over the
past three years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) said in a report presented
Monday to the Turkel Commission.
The commission of inquiry into the May
31 flotilla incident also announced on Monday that Justice Ministry Director of
Enforcement and Foreign Nationals Yossi Edelstein would appear before it on
October 12 to testify about the treatment of flotilla participants from their
arrival in Ashdod harbor until their deportation from Israel.
following day, representatives of three human rights organizations – PHR, Gisha
and B’Tselem – will appear before the committee to discuss the humanitarian
aspects of the blockade and other restrictions on the import of goods to the
The PHR report was submitted to the Turkel Commission to
prepare its members for the organization’s upcoming testimony.
to PHR, 61% of the Gaza population (973,600 residents) suffers from nourishment
insecurity. This figure has increased by 20% since 2003, the report
The number of children suffering from growth problems – including
being underweight or short, or having a problematic relationship between height,
weight and age – increased by 150% between 2007 and 2009, the group
In addition, it said, as much as 90% to 95% of the water from
the underground aquifer in Gaza may be unsuitable for drinking. Part of
the reason for this is Israel’s refusal to allow the Palestinians to import
spare parts to repair the water and sewage infrastructures that were damaged
during the fighting in Operation Cast Lead, PHR said.
2009 and the flotilla incident in May of this year, there was a monthly shortage
of about 100 medicines and hundreds of types of medical equipment. Even today,
the report noted, Israel will not allow what it describes as dual-use (civilian
and military) equipment into Gaza, including x-ray machines, radioactive
materials for radiation and CAT scans, and equipment for surgical and heart
Meanwhile, Gisha issued a statement on Monday saying
it would tell the commission that the naval blockade “was and is illegal because
it is motivated not just by security considerations, but also by a desire to
exert pressure on the civilian population in Gaza as part of a policy of
According to Gisha, the blockade is part of
Israel’s program to wage economic warfare against the Hamas
“International law permits restrictions whose purpose is to
prevent the entrance of war material, but does not allow Israel to prevent the
passage of goods which are clearly civilian in nature,” the organization wrote.