Save the Children calls on Israel to lift decade-long blockade of the territory
A MILLION CHILDREN in Gaza are struggling in “unliveable” conditions because of long-running power cuts, Save the Children reveals in a report published today.
The humanitarian charity called on the Israeli government to lift its decade-long blockade of the Palestinian territory.
Save the Children adds that the medical needs of sick and disabled youngsters are going unmet because of the blackouts.
Lack of electricity also means that untreated sewage and waterborne diseases are a growing problem in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, the charity warned.
Households are “lucky” to even receive two hours of electricity a day since the sole power plant in Gaza, which generated around a third of the coastal strip’s electricity, was shut down in April and has been operating sporadically since.
One mother, who asked to be identified only as Yara, said her 15-year-old son Ali, who has cerebral palsy, was “dying in front of [her] eyes.”
She said: “He can’t sleep most nights and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged.
“When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”
Save the Children director Jennifer Moorehead said that children in Gaza, where those aged as young as 10 have already witnessed “three massive and violent escalations of conflict,” were “sweating in the stifling summer heat, unable to sleep, play or study.
“A couple of hours of power a day is just not acceptable in 2017.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign director Ben Jamal told the Star: “It is clear that children bear the worst of Israel’s policy of collective punishment towards Palestinians living in Gaza.”
Accusing Tel Aviv of “a clear violation of the fourth Geneva convention,” Mr Jamal said: “We echo Save the Children in calling on the Israeli government to lift the blockade of Gaza and remove all obstacles to the exercise of human rights by Palestinians; particularly children, who are afforded additional special protections under international law.
“We further call on the UK government to abide by their obligations under international law to end the siege.”
Save the Children said it would install plastic water tanks for some 2,300 families because sewage treatment disruption has left some 90 per cent of water sources unfit for humans to drink from.