Israel’s bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip must be met with an “urgent and comprehensive military embargo,” the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee stated on Sunday.
Israel has bombed Gaza every night for the past 12 days in response, or so it claims, to incendiary balloons flown from the territory. Those balloons have caused fires on agricultural land in southern Israel.
Two-thirds of Gaza’s population of 2.1 million are refugees, some of them from the lands just on the other side of the Gaza boundary fence. Israel denies them their right to return, enshrined in international law, while encouraging Jews worldwide to emigrate to Israel.
Gaza has been under a devastating blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt for the past 13 years.
Israel has faced and has paid little consequence aside from Palestinian resistance in the form of mass protests, rocket fire and incendiary balloons.
Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are deprived of basic human rights under the siege.
Coupled with repeated Israeli military offensives, the siege has eroded the functioning of the health system while Gaza’s authorities cope with the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 outside of quarantine centers in the territory.
Health authorities on Monday confirmed four cases in the same family in Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza’s central region.
Authorities declared an immediate 48-hour lockdown in hopes of thwarting community transmission.
The infection was brought to Gaza by a member of the affected family who had recently visited a hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, the health ministry said.
The health ministry said it would hold Israel responsible for any escalated military aggression during the current state of emergency in Gaza.
Israel’s siege has also sharply increased poverty and aid dependency in the territory has grown ten-fold.
The bleak environment in Gaza has driven many of its young people to despair.
Nearly half of Gaza’s population are children under the age of 15. Most households are moderately to severely food insecure with unemployment rates in the territory among the highest in the world.
Gaza’s children have already lived through multiple Israeli military campaigns.