The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) confirmed international and human rights reports that spoke of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 80 percent of the population of the Gaza Strip was now dependent on humanitarian assistance provided by various international organizations and observed a significant increase in overall unemployment levels in Gaza to more than 49.1 percent.
The UN Bulletin noted that Israel continued to refuse to approve more than 42 percent of Palestinian patients’ requests from Gaza for treatment in its hospitals or in the West Bank, adding that it has approved 58 percent of such requests in the first quarter of 2018.
The UN Office accused Israel of violating international law by imposing severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods and continuing to inflict collective punishment on the population.
According to the bulletin, residents of the Gaza Strip face an electricity cutout rate of up to 20 hours per day and receive a very low water rate. It added that the Gaza Strip “faces a worsening humanitarian crisis” in light of the “continued land, sea and air blockade imposed by Israel for the twelfth consecutive year, along with the Palestinian division and the restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities at the Rafah crossing, which is the main cause of the deterioration of the humanitarian, social and economic conditions in Gaza, which is overcrowded with 2 million people.”
The UN Office underlined the urgent need for intervention by the international community to find a solution that would end the humanitarian crisis in the sector, highlighting the importance of programs aimed at supporting Palestinian refugees, in light of the financial crisis after the halting of US aid.