In response to the Coronavirus global pandemic, governments across the world are enacting emergency measures in order to protect the health of their citizens and stabilize their economies. However, 1.8 million Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip appear to be on the precipice of catastrophe — and the Israeli government, which controls what goes in and out of Gaza, has a responsibility to act now.
Palestinians in Gaza must now weather the Coronavirus in addition to the punishing, 15-year-long Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave. The international community must do everything it can to protect everyone in the world from this pandemic — and this must include the stateless Palestinians in Gaza, whose lives are controlled by the Israeli military. The Israeli government must live up to its legal obligations as an occupying power by providing Palestinians with the medical supplies they need to survive this pandemic.
If there was ever a moment to realize that we are in this fight together, it is now.
Sign the petition and demand that the Israeli government protects Palestinians in Gaza by lifting the blockade and immediately delivering medical supplies — such as Coronavirus test kits, ventilation equipment and medical masks — to Gaza.
Because of its policy of indiscriminate bombing and a tight economic blockade, the Israeli government has made Gaza into one of the least inhabitable places on Earth. Though Hamas governs Gaza internally, Israel is still the effective occupying power. Israel’s military controls the land, sea, and air of Gaza. Currently, 1.8 million Palestinians live in the 141 square miles that comprise the Gaza Strip (roughly the size of Detroit).
And, with one of the highest population densities in the world and few medical resources, Gaza is one step away from a public health disaster. Those 1.8 million people only have access to enough COVID-19 test kits for 190 people, meaning only 1 in every 9,473 Palestinians there can be tested. Additionally, there are just 20 available ventilation devices in all of Gaza, just 1 ventilation device for every 90,000 Palestinians there. Because of the Israeli blockade, Palestinians in Gaza not only have fewer medical supplies, but many of them do not have access to clean water or a nutritious diet putting them even more at risk.
The international community has ignored the humanitarian crisis facing Palestinians in Gaza for too long. Rather than waiting to react to the coronavirus hitting Gaza, we must be proactive.
Now is the time to demand the Israeli government to take responsibility and lift its inhuman blockade.
Demand the Israeli government live up to its legal and moral obligation to provide the 1.8 million Palestinians living in Gaza with access to adequate medical supplies — such as Coronavirus test kits, ventilation devices, and medical masks — in order to prevent a catastrophic escalation of Gaza’s already existing humanitarian crisis. Failing to do so will result in thousands of deaths, and the blame will lay squarely with the Israeli government.
Source: If Not Now.