Head of the Popular International Committee to Support Palestine, Dr Essam Yousef, called on Sunday for international pressure on Israel to open the Gaza crossings to avoid an inevitable humanitarian disaster.
In a press release, Yousef said that the continued Israeli closure of Gaza’s crossings paralyses economic activity in the besieged enclave because they are considered vital arteries for the flow of raw materials.
Paralysing Gaza’s economy has led to thousands of workers losing their jobs, he added. Already, Gaza suffers from one of the largest rates of unemployment in the world and this would cause “a humanitarian crisis with unpredictable outcomes on the enclave’s social fabric.”
Citing labour unions, Yousef said that there are 2,000 factories in Gaza, including 500 that had been closed due to the siege and offensives. As a result, 21,000 factory workers have been added to the unemployment list.
All told, a total of some 100,000 jobs have been lost due to the closure of the border crossings.
In the agricultural sector, farmers have suffered losses worth millions of dollars because of their inability to export their produce.
Yousef called on all governments, international organisations and the UN to take decisive action to end Israel’s starvation policies, which are intended to force the Palestinians to give up their fundamental human rights.