Geneva - Israeli forces’ targeting of peaceful demonstrators constitutes a grave violation of international law, warned the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and International Institute for Rights and Development (IRDG) on today during an oral statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council in its 38th session.
At the Gaza-Israel fence, demonstrations have been taking place as part of the Great Return March on a weekly basis since the end of March 2018 to protest Israel’s 12-year blockade of the coastal enclave and to demand the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
Delivered by Ihsan Adel, Euro-Med’s legal advisor, the two organizations brought to the attention of the Council that Israel’s use of exploding bullets against civilians, medics and journalists has left over 14,000 Palestinians wounded, in addition to 131 deaths, adding to the complexity of the already fragile situation.
They also warned against the serious unprecedented deterioration of all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip as a result of Israel’s 12-year strangling blockade.
Food security in Gaza is taking a new turn, warns Adel, with over two-thirds of households lacking food security and facing serious challenges to provide food for themselves and their children, while also 60% of essential medicine at Gaza hospitals remain at zero stock.
Moreover, the continued power cuts, which extend to 20 hours a day, led to the suspension of normal life routine, and the lives of patients in Gaza's hospitals are now at the mercy of the electricity cuts, Adel further warned.
“A serious humanitarian catastrophe is inevitable in the Gaza Strip if the international community does not act immediately,” stated Adel with great concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation crippling life in the Strip.
At the end of their oral statement, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and IRDG called on the Council to exert all possible effort to pressure Israel to end its blockade and urges its member states to shoulder their responsibilities and provide the necessary humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza and.