oPt

OPT: Trócaire's Israeli partners call for immediate opening of Gaza's borders

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Eight Israeli human rights organisations, including Trócaire partners, B'Tselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories), HaMoked (the Center for the Defence of the Individual) and Rabbis for Human Rights, have issued a statement calling for the immediate opening of Gaza's borders to avert a humanitarian crisis.

In their statement, the organisations warn, "hundreds of refugees are currently trapped between Erez crossing, which is sealed, and the Hamas military force preventing their return to Gaza. The sick and those injured from recent events are trapped in Gaza. Essential food products are diminishing, and there is a growing shortage of essential medical supplies."

The World Food Programme warns of food shortages in Gaza by the end of the week if the crossings are not opened. The Rafah Crossing on the Egyptian border has been closed for eight days and the Erez crossing into Israel has been closed since June 16. Hundreds of refugees are attempting to escape the violence and are trapped in Erez Crossing, caught between Israeli Defence force soldiers and the military wing of Hamas.

The Israeli human rights groups state, "(T)he closing of borders and the threat of disconnecting Gaza's electricity and water grid can be interpreted as collective punishment for all Gaza residents" and conclude their statement by asking Israel to "fulfil its obligation under international law and to open the borders of Gaza to the outside world."