Julie Pullman, a New Zealand investigative journalist and political and societal activist for the Palestinian cause said, “Now we are entering the sixteenth year of the Israeli siege on Gaza, a siege that has no moral or legal justification, and has resulted in what the United Nations described as the destruction of the Gaza Strip.”
This came during the international forum organized by the Days of Palestine Foundation in partnership with the We Are Not Numbers team and the October 16 team under the title (The Siege of Gaza .. An Ongoing Crime), in the presence of many guests at the local and international levels.
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Pullman said that the Israeli blockade is a process in which development is not only halted but destroyed, and the evidence for this is that before the tightening of the blockade in 2007, people and goods were moving to and from the Gaza Strip through 6 crossings, and that when the blockade was tightened, Half of these crossings were closed, and only the Rafah Crossing with Egypt, the Erez Crossing and the Kerem Shalom Crossing remained for the passage of goods.
She added that thousands of Palestinians were killed, many of them children, and tens of thousands of homes, schools and offices were destroyed during the four Israeli offensive operations on the Gaza Strip in 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2021, each of which left Gaza in a dire situation.
She noted that the Israeli missile attacks and ground incursions destroyed water lines in Gaza as well as wastewater treatment plants, and as a result, sewage and wastewater leaked into drinking water, which resulted in a sharp rise in diseases caused by water pollution.
She stressed that the reconstruction process has become impossible in the Gaza Strip, because the blockade impedes the entry of construction materials such as iron and cement, and UNRWA also reported that the number of Palestinian refugees who depend on food aid has increased from less than 80,000 Palestinians in 2000 to one million refugees in 2018 and that was only 4 years ago, and as a result – over 80% of Gazans became dependent on international aid.
And she stated that we cannot lose sight of the fact that the United Nations described as systematic destruction. It is not just a prediction of the future, but a deadly reality for the 2.2 million people living under siege, and there is an entire generation that has not known any other life, and has not enjoyed any of the human rights that the West enjoys.
They added that from the point of view of international law, the blockade of Gaza amounts to a war crime, as collective punishment is strictly prohibited according to Article 33 of the Geneva Convention, and Israel is violating the law of occupation, because the Israeli authorities are obligated according to international law to respect the rights of the Palestinian people as an occupied people without any Random restrictions or conditions.
She said that pressure must be increased on the international community, especially the United Nations, to demand that the blockade of Gaza be declared – unequivocally – illegal.
She stated that the UN Security Council must bear a clear and urgent responsibility to impose sanctions on the Israeli authorities, companies and cultural entities until the illegal military occupation and blockade of Palestine is finally ended.
And it called on the international community to intervene immediately to end the stifling siege on the Gaza Strip.