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Euro-Med warns of recent Israeli measures against Gaza

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Noor31GENEVA (PNIC):-Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor sent urgent letters to the European Union (EU) ambassadors in the Palestinian territories informing them of the disastrous consequences of Israel's decision to tighten the blockade on Gaza.

Euro-Med warned of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to close Karem Abu Salem crossing and reduce the fishing area in Gaza sea to 6 nautical miles, adding that the besieged territory is already experiencing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that may lead to an "explosion" so soon.

Euro-Med said that the new Israeli sanctions will undermine Gaza's economy, adding that halting exports and imports of food and other goods will force tens of thousands of Gazans into unemployment at a time when Gaza's unemployment rate is the highest in the world.

According to the Human Rights Monitor, about 4,000 economic and industrial facilities are threatened with closure, and over 90% of Gaza's population will be depending on humanitarian aid to meet their needs.

It stressed that despite the fact that Israel is supposed to be responsible for protecting the civilians of the territories it occupies, it imposes a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip and practices unprecedented forms of collective punishment.

Euro-Med in its letter briefed the EU ambassadors on the humanitarian disaster suffered by nearly two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, explaining that closing the sole commercial crossing connecting the enclave with the occupied territories will adversely affect all sectors and infrastructure, particularly the health sector which has been unable to provide 60% of its basic services to Gaza patients. 

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday decided to wage new punitive measures against the Gaza Strip in response to the fire kites and balloons sent over the border fence to adjacent Israeli settlements.

Euro-Med said that the Israeli authorities are imposing a collective punishment on two million civilians over an activity carried out only by a few of them near Gaza border. It stressed that in no way depriving civilians of their basic rights can be justified, especially if they are living in a place already classified as "unlivable". 

The Human Rights Monitor concluded its letter by calling on the EU ambassadors to pressure Israel to halt its punitive measures immediately and unconditionally, allow the entry of food and goods into the Gaza Strip, and facilitate the travel of Gaza residents in both directions.

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