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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Holy Land: infant mortality rate grows under Gaza siege
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¬†"Half of the population of Gaza is made up of minors. Their situation is appalling and could get worse" - that is the verdict of a special UN committee sent to the region to review the humanitarian situation. In Cairo, Prasad Kariyawasam, president of the committee and Sri Lanka's ambassador to the UN, said that Israeli authorities blocked the group's access to Gaza, forcing it to "interview local witnesses by phone and to speak with humanitarian operators to understand what is happening on the ground". After outlining the damage done to the population by the longstanding blockade of Gaza, Kariyawasam stressed the serious situation faced by children, described as "the first victims of the siege". According to paediatricians "child mortality rates have increased to become the highest in the region" while the "psycho-somatic symptoms that many children have developed can be linked directly to the suffering they are forced to endure". The UN representative said: "the children see their fathers being subjected to daily humiliations and insults and they lose hope, and with it, their childhood". He said: "The international community has the moral duty to intervene, to save an entire generation of children that shall have to build the Palestine of tomorrow". Meanwhile, in Gaza, the atmosphere is tense following the announcement ≠ for the third consecutive day ≠ of the closure of cross-border points in response to the launch of two Qassam rockets toward the Negev. Though no one was injured Israeli leaders have shut down all borders, even though their gradual re-opening was a major part of the latest ceasefire agreement. Only a small amount of fuel is getting through, moving through the Eretz border. Source: MISNA
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