Source: European Parliament
COVID-19 does not recognise borders or walls. Gaza (a huge open-air prison) is one of the most densely populated places in the world, which makes the deployment of preventive measures difficult given the overcrowding and poverty in which thousands of families struggle to live. Furthermore, the blockade imposed by Israel more than 13 years ago now is creating a chronic shortage of supplies in a health system that was already on the point of collapse even before the pandemic. The humanitarian aid announced by the EEAS to combat COVID-19 in Gaza is important, but more needs to be done. The blockade continues to hit the civilian population hard. If extraordinary political measures are not taken urgently to lift the blockade, tackling the pandemic will not be possible. The Council of Europe has called repeatedly for it to be lifted in accordance with international law. Today, more than ever, the blockade needs to be brought to an end for the sake of the civilian population.
What action will the EU take to push for an end to the Israeli blockade in order to ensure the civilian population can be protected by allowing medical and material resources into the Gaza Strip to tackle COVID-19?