Locked in: The humanitarian impact of two years of blockade on the Gaza Strip
This report documents the humanitarian impact of the blockade imposed by Israel on the 1.5 million people living in the Gaza strip. The report describes how the recurrent cycles of violence and human rights violations, stemming from the Israel-Palestinian conflict and Hamas’ rule over Gaza, have compounded the suffering of the population in Gaza.
The author writes that two years of blockade in Gaza has resulted in:
- The devastation of livelihoods: the lack of essential imports, including raw materials, coupled with the ban on exports, has decimated economic activity in the private sector and resulted in the loss of approximately 120,000 jobs
- Rising food insecurity: approximately 75 percent of Gaza’s population is food insecure, up from 56 percent in the first quarter of 2008
- Inability to reconstruct: the ban on the import of building materials has prevented the reconstruction of most of the 3,540 homes destroyed and the 2,870 homes severely damaged during the last military offensive
- A protracted energy crisis: the reduction in the amounts of industrial fuel allowed entry has forced Gaza’s sole power plant to reduce its level of production, creating a 15- 20 percent electricity deficit
- The deterioration of water and sanitation infrastructure: some 10,000 people in northern Gaza still do not have access to running water due a lack of available building materials to maintain and upgrade the wastewater infrastructure
- A challenged health system: follow-up treatment for people suffering from complex injuries and permanent disabilities inflicted during the most recent Israeli offensive has created an enormous burden for a health system weakened by shortages of facilities, equipment, and drugs
- Education undermined: over-crowding of schools as a result of the inability to expand and repair existing facilities, compounded by the recurrent shortages of educational materials delayed or denied entry at the crossings, and frequent electricity power cuts have contributed to a decline in school attendance and performance.