Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Rising into the ranks of Haute Couture

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A thin line between fact-checking and propaganda in Gaza social media coverage

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies cast light on dark history

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

  • Video: Palestinians fear full Israeli military offensive in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: Living in Tel Aviv, under threat of rocket attack

    Read more

  • Manhunt as FIFA partner flees Rio hotel to avoid arrest

    Read more

  • US prepared to negotiate Gaza ceasefire, Obama says

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces close in on Donetsk

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • UN chief Ban Ki-moon appoints new Syria mediator

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

NGOs: Gaza in worst state since 1967

©

Latest update : 2008-03-07

British NGOs say the situation in the Gaza Strip is at its worst since Israeli occupation started in 1967 and condemn policy isolating the ruling Palestinian militant group Hamas. (Report: M. MacCarthy)

British humanitarian agencies on Thursday said the situation in the Gaza Strip was the worst in 40 years and urged the European Union to hold talks with Hamas, which runs the impoverished territory.
   
They also called for an end of Israel's punishing blockade of Gaza.
   
"The situation for 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is worse now than at any time since the beginning of the Israeli military occupation in 1967," the eight non-governmental organisations said in a joint report.
   
They called for negotiations with Hamas, the Islamists who seized control of Gaza in June and who are considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Israel and the United States.
   
"The international policy of isolating Hamas has not reaped any benefits," the report said.
   
"We urge the UK government and the EU to abandon the failing policy of non-engagement and begin political dialogue with all Palestinian parties" said the agencies, which include Oxfam and Amnesty International.
   
The report claimed that the blockade of Gaza, aimed at forcing militants to halt rocket attacks, failed to deliver security to Palestinians and Israelis alike.
   
"We ask the UK government and the EU to issue a strong condemnation of the continuing blockade of Gaza and the Israeli government's use of collective punishment and associated violations of international humanitarian law," the report said.
   
It painted a grim picture of the situation in the crowded territory, saying 80 percent of the people are dependent on food aid and 40 percent unemployed.
   
Because spare parts cannot be imported, hospitals cannot keep lifesaving equipment working, while the virtual collapse of key infrastructure is causing up to 50 million tons of sewage to be dumped into the Mediterranean Sea every day, the agencies said.
   
"Unless the blockade ends now, it will be impossible to pull Gaza back from the brink of this disaster and any hopes of peace in the region will be dashed," said Geoffrey Dennis, chief executive of CARE International UK.
   
The situation has been further aggravated by a sharp escalation of violence since February 27, when Israel mounted a deadly blitz on Gaza in response to rocket attacks.
   
Israel's latest offensive in Gaza has killed more than 125 people in a week, including more than 20 children. On the Israeli side, two soldiers and a civilian were killed.
   
The agencies called for an end to both the "indiscriminate" rocket attacks from Gaza and the "disproportionate" response by Israel.
   
They also urged the international community to facilitate a dialogue aimed at Palestinian reconciliation.
   
Hamas has ruled Gaza since June, when it ousted the rival forces of moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, whose authority is now limited to the occupied West Bank.

Date created : 2008-03-06

Comments

COMMENT(S)