How Gaza’s Children Are Paying the Price

The Trippli Post | June 26, 2012

 

Gaza children the victims of Israeli aggression

By Karen Dabrowska
(The Tripoli Post correspondent in London)

For over five years more than 1.6 million people in Gaza, more than half of whom are children, have been under blockade, in violation of international law. A report by Save the Children and Medical Aid of Palestinians which was launched in Britain in the House of Commons Monday night, lifts the lid on the human impact of the blockade on one of the most densely populated areas on earth.

Gaza’s children: falling behind, the effect of the blockade on child health in Gaza provides a vital insight into the way the blockade has invaded every level and aspect of children’s lives in Gaza – domestic, communal, and environmental, as well as social, educational, psychological and physical.

Despite Israel’s ‘easing’ of the blockade in 2010, families continue to suffer from food insecurity and remain critically dependent on aid, while Gaza’s health sector is suffering from escalating shortages of equipment and medical supplies.

Poor housing conditions, overcrowded schools and a heavily polluted environment are also exacting a high price on children’s mental and physical health.

In July 2012 British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”

This report shows how children in Gaza are being harmed by the blockade in every area of life. The fracturing of the support systems that are meant to protect children as they grow and develop – the home, the community, and the environment – has implications for the health of children in Gaza.

The report states that major indicators of child health have either remained stagnant as the rest of the world advances, or deteriorated.

Infant mortality is recognised as an important indicator of public well-being, reflecting the chances of survival for society’s most vulnerable. In Gaza, the rate of death among infants has changed little in nearly two decades.

This is the case even while other countries in the region – and the world – have steadily improved their infant mortality rates.

As noted in The Lancet, the problem of stagnating infant mortality is apparent in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but in Gaza more so.

Since the start of the blockade, it has been difficult to gain a clear picture of what has happened in Gaza due in part to the fragmentation of monitoring systems in place and differences in data collection.

Gaza’s authorities report, based on infant death certificates, that infant mortality has remained much the same as before. Studies using other methods, however, have drawn conflicting conclusions.

Although it is difficult to know conclusively why women die in childbirth since illness or other causes may not be apparent, a study of recent causes of maternal mortality strongly indicates that in Gaza better care could save mothers’ lives.

Healthy children are vital to the development and well-being of any community. The exceptional crisis brought about by the blockade in Gaza which has reinforced and compounded the impact of the fits and starts of the conflict has created a uniquely destructive environment in which close to one million children are struggling to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

Diseases of poverty and conflict combined with a degenerating health care system are claiming growing numbers of Gaza’s children. The families of Gaza need to be able to afford and have access to nutritious food for the sake of their children.

Gaza’s health sector needs urgent help and investment. Infrastructure damage needs to be repaired. Hospitals and medical centres must be able to upgrade their equipment, supplies and essential drugs.

Medical professionals must be supported in their efforts to prevent, detect and manage serious conditions and urgent improvements are needed particularly in the quality of
antenatal, labour and delivery care.

A four-year political split between the leadership of Gaza and the West Bank has further exacerbated a profound deterioration in healthcare. On an environmental level, Gaza’s destroyed water, sewage and electricity systems must be repaired.

New homes must be constructed – not only to replace those damaged and destroyed by conflict – but to accommodate the growing population. Gaza’s economy must be allowed to develop through unrestricted import and export. Each one of these issues must be addressed.

The report concludes that none of these developments will be possible while Gaza’s borders are sealed. Until the blockade is lifted entirely, Gaza’s children will not have access to the basic goods and services that they need and is their right.

International aid is helping, but it is not keeping pace with the level of the crisis. Food aid and micronutrient supplements can help ease these health problems, but they cannot end them.

It is the moral imperative of the international community to intervene to protect and ensure the rights of children as set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other instruments of international law.

As long as the blockade remains and conflict continues, children and mothers will continue to suffer.


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ஜ۩۞۩ஜ

Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar

ஜ۩۞۩ஜ



* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.





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