Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The quest for drinking water in Gaza - 22 Jun 08

The quest for drinking water in Gaza - 22 Jun 08:

"During Israel's year-long blockade of Gaza, Palestinians have struggled to find tangible improvements in their lives.

A recent increase in the flow of goods into the territory following a 'truce' between Israel and Hamas has softened the situation, but shelves in many local stores remain bare.

One necessity hard to come by is drinking water, which, as Al Jazeera's Sami Zeidan discovered, was more difficult to buy than some other rather odd products."

UNRWA calls on Israel and Egypt to fully reopen Gaza crossings
Source: The Palestinian Information Center

GAZA,(PIC)-- John Ging the director of UNRWA operations in the Gaza Strip called Monday on Israel and Egypt to fully reopen the Gaza commercial crossings and the Rafah border crossing, highlighting that the closure of these crossings is illegal and against international law on human rights.

In the presence of heads of universities and humanitarian institutions, Ging told a press conference that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is still worsening despite the Palestinian full commitment to the ceasefire.

"As long as the Palestinians are fully committed to the truce, why don't Israel and Egypt immediately open the crossings in order to make the Palestinians in Gaza feel that there is a positive change in their life?" the UN official questioned.

The UN official stressed that at this time last year about 400 trucks were allowed into Gaza and now only 100 are let in.

The UN official said that in general the crossings are still closed and must be reopened immediately including the Rafah crossing which is considered a vital artery for the Palestinians because the closure of these crossings is contrary to international law.

The UN official underlined that the unjust siege led to the collapse of all aspects of life in Gaza including education, but the UNRWA had succeeded through great efforts and cooperation of universities and community organizations to stop its deterioration during the second semester and to achieve significant improvements at the level of students and teachers.

For their part, heads of universities and humanitarian organizations hailed in their speeches UNRWA's success in accomplishing difficult tasks during a short period of time and saving the education in Gaza from collapse.

In a new development, the number of Israeli siege victims rose to 208 after three Palestinian patients were proclaimed dead on Monday.

The victims were attempting to get permits to leave Gaza for medical treatment through the Rafah crossing, the popular committee against the siege reported in a statement received by the PIC.

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