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oPt Humanitarian Overview: The Gaza Strip. The Humanitarian Impact of Two years of Blockade and the Israeli offensive on Gaza. Gaza Strip – Profile. Population 1.43 million (~1 million refugees) Crowded 3,881 persons per sq km Young 54% of the population under the age of 18 Poor

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gaza strip profile
Gaza Strip – Profile


1.43 million (~1 million refugees)


3,881 persons per sq km


54% of the population under the age of 18


80% poverty rate/79% aid dependant



Access andMovement Data

Rafah Crossing Point

Erez Crossing Point

Karni Crossing Point

Access to Gaza

6 nautical miles (horizon)

Effective since April 2009

The Gaza Strip: August 2005

21 Settlements ~9,000 Israeli settlers

The Gaza Strip 2009


3 nautical miles (horizon)

Effective since January 2009


the israeli blockade on gaza since june 2007
The Israeli Blockade on Gaza Since June 2007

Air/sea movement banned

All exports banned

Import of most construction, raw materials & spare parts banned

Imports restricted to food and hygiene; limited cash/fuel

Medical referrals restricted

Buffer zones

the impact of the blockade
The Impact of the Blockade

95% of private business closed

More than 120,000 jobs lost

Hospital functioning impeded

Electricity reduced and intermittent

Deterioration of water supply & sanitation services

deterioration of water and sanitation services
Deterioration of water and sanitation services

10,000 people with no access to piped water

Repair and upgrade of treatment plants impeded

80 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage discharged into the environment daily

Increased health risks due to polluted sea water

Sewage infiltrates into the aquifer: only 5-10% of the extracted water is safe

the devastation of livelihoods
The devastation of livelihoods

5,000 farmers and 10,000 agricultural laborers affected by export ban

Local market saturated with previously exported items

“Buffer Zone” expanded to 300 metres from the fence

Fishing zone reduce to 3 nautical miles

the gaza war 27 dec 2008 18 jan 2009
The Gaza War: 27 Dec 2008-18 Jan 2009

1.4 million civilians unprotected:

Massive military aerial and ground bombardment

Densely populated – small area

No safe space – no bomb shelters

No alarm/warning system

No place to flee – all borders sealed

people affected during cast lead offensive
People affected during “Cast Lead” Offensive

1,383 Palestinians fatalities, including 350 children, identified by OCHA.

5,303 Palestinian injuries (MoH)

Civilian fatalities disputed: 73-83% (Palestinian HR orgs); 25-39% (IDF)


Damage Assessment

JRC, 28 Jan 2009

Gaza War Damages:

  • Publicinfrastructure
  • Agricultural land
  • Commerce/Industry
  • Residential buildings
  • UN property
  • Tunnels
  • All together
inability to reconstruct homes
Inability to reconstruct homes

Ban on construction materials prevents reconstruction and repairs of homes

“Cast Lead” housing impact:

3,500 destroyed

2,900 severely damaged

53,000 with minor damages

20,000 displaced people forced to live in alternative accommodation

Pre- “Cast Lead” housing needs: 7,500 units

the continued blockade a protracted human dignity crisis
Further Erosion of livelihoods

Furtherdecline in the quality of all services

Continued denial of right to leave Gaza, move to WB

Limited capacity to address needs resulting of “Cast Lead”

Increasing aid dependence

The continued Blockade: A protracted human dignity crisis
the way forward
The way forward

Ending the Blockade – GoI must:

Lift restrictions on all Gaza crossings

Allow free access to agricultural and fishing areas

Allow access for goods and people between Gaza and the West Bank

“Protection, food, water, healthcare, and shelter are basic human needs, not bargaining chips.” (John Holmes)