A new report issued by all the major UK aid agencies working in the Holy Land states that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is now worse than it was at any time since Israel occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967. The report says the blockade of the Gaza Strip is unacceptable and called on the UK government to condemn it and to act for a new strategy to be implemented in the impoverished and torn territory. It points out that poverty levels are rising and that hospitals are suffering 12 hours power cuts each day, while water and sewage systems are close to collapse. In their report, the organizations stated that that situation has worsened since Israel imposed the severe restrictions over the Gaza Strip and hindered the movement of the residents and goods. The coalition, which is comprised of Amnesty International, CARE International UK, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Medecins du Monde UK, Oxfam, Save The Children UK and Trocaire, described Israel's blockade of Gaza as a collective punishment of the entire Gazan population of 1.5 million. They say the blockade is unacceptable and illegal, and that it also fails to provide security to the Palestinians and to Israel. Unemployment rates in the Gaza Strip exceeded 70%, while the infrastructure, water and sewage are totally collapsing due to the siege and the ongoing Israeli shelling. Approximately 1.1 million residents in the Gaza Strip are now dependent on international food aid. Source: Caritas
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