Dozens of MPs urge relief of ‘dire’ Gaza conditions

Dozens of MPs urge relief of ‘dire’ Gaza conditions

Parliamentarians from all parties write letter to Middle East Minister urging action to ease the burden on Palestinians

Gaza City
Gaza City

Dozens of MPs have urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide relief to the people of Gaza amid warnings of a “dire” humanitarian crisis underway.

Parliamentarians from all parties, including Jewish peer Lord Dubs, who escaped the Nazis, wrote an open letter to Middle East Minister Alistair Burt urging the UK Government to use financial and diplomatic means to help, and to ask the Israeli government to let MPs visit aid projects in the coastal enclave.

Richard Burden MP, chair of the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group, together with more than 60 co-signatories, said “Gaza’s already-dire humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by an electricity crisis since April 2017”.

The MPs said daily 20-hour blackouts and cuts to healthcare provision were combining with “a chronic lack of infrastructure development to meet the needs of Gaza’s growing population, as well as a lack of power for water treatment, resulting in two thirds of Gaza’s shoreline being polluted by untreated sewage”.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recently said the situation in Gaza was “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises I have seen in many years” and this week, as winter approaches, the MPs urged UK action.

“People in Gaza cannot wait for the resolution of a decades-long peace process to release them from this… humanitarian crisis they face,” they wrote this week, before asking Burt’s FCO and the Government’s Department for International Development to release monies urgently for water treatment, healthcare and education.

In addition, they urged Burt to “use all diplomatic means, including multilateral forums… to pursue accountability for all violations of international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian territory and bring an end to the closure of Gaza”.

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