- Press Release MAPIM
20th July 2013
GAZA FACING FOOD AND FUEL CRISIS - MAPIM URGES INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES TO PRESSURE EGYPT TO OPEN RAFAH CROSSING.
Since July 5, the Egyptian authorities as a result of the internal situation, has closed the Rafah crossing, and began a systematic process of destroy tunnels along the border of the Gaza Strip .
The situation is moving towards a humanitarian crisis in Gaza if the Egyptian authorities continue to hamper the free flow of goods and people through the Rafah crossing.
The result of the closure of the Rafah border has resulted in the following predicaments :
1. The disruption of the movement of passengers to and from the Gaza Strip, where the average daily departure is of 1,000 passengers, including students, patients and businessmen, as well as the cancelation the Umrah season for the month of Ramadan.
2. An average of 300 patients travel each day from the Gaza Strip to Egypt for treatment. the partial opening of the Rafah crossing for only 4 hours a day, results in the decrease of travelers in addition to depriving some of them from complete access to medical treatment.
3.There is an acute shortage of main building materials and therefore the closure of the Rafah crossings and bombing of the tunnels have stopped the construction of humanitarian projects, including the of restoration of orphan houses and school construction, and threatens all work in the construction industry for their business . This has created the sudden jump in the rate of unemployment that is already high.
4. Gaza is now facing food shortages as the market begins to use up stored supplies and there is concern of the increase in deficit of food if the crisis continues.
5. Power plant suffers the largest crisis since a long time and now it is close to the consumption of its own reserves of fuel stocks , expected to be depleted soon.
6. Ambulances that run on gasoline have stopped running and those that run on diesel are also facing a possibility to stop its operation.
7. Dumping of untreated sewage into the Sea of Gaza, threatens an environmental disaster. This is due to solid waste collection patrols are unable to make their rounds because of shortage of fuel and an inevitable environmental crisis is likely to erupt.
8. Many agricultural irrigation have stopped operation as water wells are not able to be pumped out due to pumps dependent on fuel . This eventually threatens crop failure in the fields.
9. Cessation of fishing activities due to lack of fuel for the boats and thereby worsening the livelihood of the fishermen and jeopardizing protein supply for Gaza.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organizations (Mapim) is alerting the international agencies and the world community , with Gaza still under siege by Israel , it is most vulnerable to any interruption of basic needs flowing into Gaza.
We call on the world bodies to deploy an urgent action to demand Egypt to open the Rafah border and not hamper the flow of goods urgently needed by Gaza . Intentionally doing so is tantamount to denying the Gaza populace their Human Rights.
MOHD AZMI ABDUL HAMID