aspacpalestine.com – Gaza. Rights groups and United Nations agencies have continued to express grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the besieged Gaza Strip, where two million Palestinians under Israeli siege have faced the devastating effects of Palestinian Authority (PA) budget cuts, primarily affecting electricity supply and the medical sector.
The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said in a statement Wednesday that the ongoing power shortages, recently exacerbated by an Israeli decision to slash electricity supply at the request of the PA, has deepened the humanitarian crisis.
The statement said some areas in Gaza were getting six hours of electricity, but reports indicated that the majority of Gazans were coping with only four hours of power a day.
Citing a number of UN experts including the special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory Michael Lynk, the statement highlighted the precarious conditions in which Gaza’s hospitals were operating, growing water shortages, and the untreated sewage being dumped into the sea due to lack of electricity.
“The two million residents of Gaza are suffering through a humanitarian crisis that is entirely human-made,” the experts said. “We call on all those involved to immediately resolve their issues, and not to further penalize the residents of Gaza for political disputes among elites,” they said.
“We call on the international community not to turn a blind eye to Gaza. And we call for a full and immediate end to the 10-year blockade and closure, which amounts to collective punishment contrary to international law.”
Spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry previously said that at least 11 people, most of them children, have died since the beginning of the year as a result of Israel and the PA’s refusal to issue travel permits for them.