An occupant with a size of an atom that confused the world enters the cell, removes its capsule and controls an exhausted body which only wants safety. An invisible virus controlled the globe during numerous months without any mercy, announced a case of emergency and paralyzed the entire world.
That what the Israeli occupation has been practicing against Gaza for more than 13 years. 13 years of blockade on 365 square kilometers in size to be prevented from its most basic rights in living while the whole world was watching without taking any action.
Land, air and sea blockade has been imposed on the Gaza Strip for more than 13 years now, accompanied by three Israeli large-scale wars during a period of 6 years.
The blockade imposed on Gaza since the mid of 2006 constitutes a suffocating crisis, with ramifications for more than two million Palestinians, who lie in a geographical area of no more than 365 square kilometers. The suffering created by this injustice has various aspects of life in Gaza and has turned the population there into unbearable hell, whereas Gaza is a narrow part of the Palestinian geography map: limited capabilities, scarce resources, tight control from the Israeli occupation.
During the siege on Gaza, the five crossings (controlled by Israel) between Gaza and the world remained tightly closed. Meanwhile, the one and only crossing on the Gaza border opening from time to time and locked most of the time is Rafah crossing which is under control of the Egyptian authorities. This blockade prohibits exports and restricts the entry of basic goods including food and fuel.
Since the end of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, a severe battle has faced the existing difficult health sector. During the period of continuous blockade, the sector was plagued by a lack of medical equipment and supplies. Israeli border officials have repeatedly returned the WHO trucks, loaded with medical equipment to Gaza hospitals without any explanations.
After Israel have closed the crossings, people who were in a satisfactory condition who could not be medically treated inside Gaza were required to apply for permits to receive treatment either in foreign hospitals or in Palestinian hospitals in the West Bank. Yet, Israeli authorities frequently refused these permits. Moreover, granting permits requires obtaining many documents supported by hospitals in Gaza and the Ministry of Health in Ramallah, West Bank.
According to “WHO” there are risks due to delays for those who need urgent treatment, whereas according to statistics 28 patients died obtaining permits in 2009, 14 of them were waiting to cross through the Erez crossing to the occupied Palestine. Some of these deaths would not have been occurred if they were allowed to pass the crossing.
Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, revealed a statistic of cancer cases numbers in the Gaza Strip during 2019 amounted to 8,515 medical cases, including 608 children, 7% of the total cases, while the number of women reached 4,705 cases, representing 55.3% of the total cases registered in the Gaza Strip, living under Israeli occupation and prevented from being medically treated abroad!
Statistics showed that about 280 of the 641 schools in Gaza were damaged during the Israeli military operation in 2008-2009, which led Palestinian students to study in devastating classes with covered windows by pieces of plastic to protect themselves from freezing in winter. Israeli restrictions on the delivery of construction materials to Gaza and a lack of funding have impeded the rebuilding of homes that were severely damaged or destroyed during the 2014 Israeli military operation in Gaza. About 17,700 Palestinians who lost their homes remained displaced.
Israel has continued its actual closure on the Gaza Strip, which has lasted for more than a decade, limited the supply of electricity and water, while families in Gaza receiving electricity between an average of 4 and 5 hours per day throughout the year. Israel also restricted access to medical care and educational and economic opportunities. The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip during the third quarter of 2018 was 55 percent, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, and 80 percent of Gaza's two million people depend on humanitarian aid.
While the world boasts liberation, urbanization and idealism, this tightening siege, day after day, has had its political dimensions on the Palestinian issue as a whole and on the Gaza Strip in particular. This occupier Israeli virus has affected the Gaza Strip community economically, socially and environmentally.
13 years under restricted emergency state no longer a Palestinian could tolerate while the whole world fear an invisible virus which imposed a curfew on the world's population preventing them from practicing their basic rights of living.
May this be a message to the whole world from people worthy of life to those who always stand with right and good to unlock Gaza and release it from 13 years of pain and deprivation?
We Palestinians pray for the world to overcome this ordeal caused by this coronavirus and hope soon Peace will be re-established to enjoy quiet life with those you love.
Love, Peace, and Safety