Why Gaza is known as the world’s biggest ‘open air prison’

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Source: The post is based on the article “Why Gaza is known as the world’s biggest ‘open air prison” published in “Indian Express” on 12th October 2023

What is the News?

Israel has announced a “total blockade” of Gaza, which includes a ban on food, water, fuel and electricity supplies.

Israel is able to impose such conditions on Gaza because Gaza has been under an air, land and sea blockade by Israel since 2007.

Where is Gaza?

Source: BBC

Gaza is a strip located on the Mediterranean Sea.It is one of two Palestinian territories, the other being the occupied West Bank.

Gaza is separated from Israel by a separation barrier and it has a southern border crossing with Egypt.

It is under the control of the militant Islamist group Hamas since 2007.

Since then, Israel and Egypt have restricted the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza saying their blockade is needed for security reasons.

Why is Gaza called an Open Air Prison?

According to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the socioeconomic situation in Gaza has been in steady decline for more than a decade. 

Longstanding restrictions on the movement of people and goods to and from Gaza have made living conditions extremely difficult. 

Israel prevents all access to and from the Gaza Strip by sea and air.Movement of people and goods is restricted to three crossings: Rafah crossing, controlled by Egypt and Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings, controlled by Israel.  

Around 63%  of the population of Gaza is considered food-insecure, and 81% are living in poverty.Access to clean water and electricity were at crisis levels even before this month’s hostilities.

Hence, due to these conditions created by the blockade, many experts refer to Gaza as an “open air prison”.

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