Save the Children warns of unlivable conditions in Gaza

2017-09-05 11:32
A Palestinian child mourns during the funeral of a 28-year-old Hamas field commander who was killed overnight in a suicide attack that targeted Hamas forces near the Gaza Strip's crossing with Egypt. (AFP)

A Palestinian child mourns during the funeral of a 28-year-old Hamas field commander who was killed overnight in a suicide attack that targeted Hamas forces near the Gaza Strip's crossing with Egypt. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

One million children are suffering from "unlivable" conditions in the Gaza Strip, according to Save the Children, an international charity that promotes children's rights and provides aid worldwide.

"Save the Children considers Gaza to be unlivable now," the group said in a statement on Tuesday. 

According to Save the Children, "60 percent of the sea around Gaza is contaminated with untreated sewage and over 90 percent of water sources [are] too contaminated for human consumption".

The besieged Palestinian territory, where more than two million people live, has also been suffering from an energy crisis since mid-April due to a dispute over taxes between Hamas, which rules the enclave, and the occupied West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Gaza has also been under a tight Israeli blockade for a decade and residents have been subjected to persistent blackouts.

The continuing electricity crisis and "environmental crisis" has left the more than one million children in Gaza unable "to sleep, study or play", Save the Children said. 

According to the charity, more than 740 schools are struggling to function without electricity and most families receive only two to four hours of electricity each day.

The UN found in 2012, that if nothing was done to ease the blockade on Gaza, life would become "unlivable" in by 2020.

But following the release of a UN report in July that found that living conditions had worsened since the blockade began, the international body's humanitarian coordinator for the occupied territories said that point "of unlivability [had] been passed quite a long time ago".

'Worse every day'

Save the Children's Caroline Anning told Al Jazeera that the "situation in Gaza is a growing humanitarian crisis".

She added that the situation "is getting worse every day".

Save the Children called on Israel to "lift the Gaza blockade and for Palestinian and Israeli authorities to provide basic services", adding that lack of such services are contributing to growing mental health issues in the enclave. 

READ MORE - Letter from Gaza: 'Alive due to lack of death'

"Gaza children are already suffering through a ten-year blockage and the constant threat of conflict," Jennifer Moorhead Save the Children's country directory for the occupied Palestinian Territories, said in a statement.

"Living without access to basic services like electricity is affecting their family life and mental well-being," Moorehead said.

"We're seeing increased levels of anxiety, aggression and mood swings."

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007 when it seized the territory from Abbas' Fatah movement in a dispute over parliamentary elections won by Hamas the previous year.

OPINION: How Gaza was made into an unlivable place

Multiple attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have failed, but the Palestinian Authority has continued to pay Israel for some of the electricity delivered to the enclave.

Israel has launched three offensives on Gaza since 2008, in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Severe damage to Gaza's already weak infrastructure has contributed to the current humanitarian crisis.

Read more on:    save the children  |  palestine  |  gaza  |  israel

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.