RNA - It’s a perfect time for the world community to also do the same, as the blockade is unlawful, immoral and inhumane under International Law and International Humanitarian Law.
As maintained by the Swedish foreign minister, the occupying regime has to lift the siege it imposes on Gaza, open border crossings, and secure the arrival of medical and food assistance.
Sadly, the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory is deteriorating, at a time when the ongoing Great March of Return protests that started on 30 March in Gaza have seen Israeli snipers kill 136 Palestinians and wound more than 15,000 others, including children and medical and aid workers.
The Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting along the boundary of the Gaza Strip. They are calling for the Israeli siege to be lifted and to be allowed to exercise their right to return to their homeland from which they have been driven by Zionist militias and the Israeli security forces since 1948.
For 12 years the siege has unlawfully deprived Palestinians in Gaza of their most basic rights and necessities. Under the burden of the illegal blockade and three armed conflicts imposed on them by Tel Aviv, the economy has sharply declined and humanitarian conditions have deteriorated severely. The latest power cuts risk turning an already dire situation into a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe.
The power cuts have had a severe impact on essential services such as healthcare, wastewater management and access to clean water for Gaza’s entire population. Israel must immediately lift the illegal blockade and end their collective punishment of Gaza’s population, as this is genocide.
In particular, collective punishment contravenes the Hague Conventions on the laws of war, as well as Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which states: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed.”
According to Fars News Agancy, Israel also routinely uses collective punishment against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in the form of home demolitions, arbitrary arrests and restrictions on movement, and other measures. In September 2011, a UN panel composed of independent experts found that Israel's blockade of Gaza amounts to collective punishment in "flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law."
One of the principal motives behind the imposition of the blockade is a desire to punish the people of the Gaza Strip for having elected Hamas. The combination of this motive and the effect of the restrictions on the Gaza Strip leave no doubt that Israel's actions and policies amount to collective punishment as defined by International Law. It has nothing to do with establishing security as Tel Aviv would like us to believe.
Therefore, the unlawful and inhumane blockade has to go. Even Israeli officials agree. Unable to prevail in the war, they acknowledge that the siege and blockade are part of a strategy of economic warfare against the people of Gaza. The goal of the Gaza siege is to made the people of Gaza suffer a slow, painful death.
It’s all the reason why the international civil society needs to act now to force Israel to lift the blockade through a binding UN resolution. No doubt collective punishment, a common feature of the Israeli occupation, is an international crime, wicked, cruel, obnoxious and indefensible.
It is still being used by the usurper regime to instill fear and terror by demolishing entire Palestinian villages as well. This inhumane and immoral practice is also illegal under Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. It has to stop.