(The AEGIS Alliance) – United States Senator Bernie Sanders delivered a letter to his colleagues in congress on Friday that urged the White House to take actions in improving the ‘humanitarian crisis’ that Gazans face as they continue to protest for the third week in a row.
Gaza’s “lack of power, clean water, adequate medical care and other necessities not only exacerbates the hardships faced by Gaza’s population, but redounds to the benefit of extremist groups who use this deprivation and despair to incite violence against Israel,” the letter reads, according to a Haaretz report.
Haaretz reported the latter will be sent to the U.S. State Department early this next week.
“The humanitarian crisis increases the chances of incidents at the border fence that can turn deadly,” this letter adds.
Sanders criticizes both Israel and Hamas in his letter. He states Hamas should not seek out a violent ‘struggle against Israel,’ but rather emphasized that the Israeli’s “continuing control of Gaza’s air, sea, and northern, southern, and eastern borders, and its restrictions on the freedom of movement of people, legitimate goods and equipment in and out of Gaza, have made the humanitarian situation worse”.
Thousands of people in Gaza are active in a planned out six-week long protest, which started on March 30th and is set to end on May 15th – on the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe), in which over 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced by Israel’s forces during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
33 Palestinians have been killed in total, and thousands have been injured by Israeli forces since their “Great March of Return” started. While demonstrators have been gathering at tent encampments around the border fence each day since the protests started, there have been larger numbers of protesters on Fridays.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is concerned about Gaza’s capacity for handling thousands of wounded people in the last several weeks, highlighting the besieged enclave’s already resource strains.
“Gaza’s health sector has struggled to cope with the mass influx of casualties, due to years of blockade, internal divide and a chronic energy crisis, which have left essential services in Gaza barely able to function,” the U.N. agency in a statement Friday.
OCHA reported that 2,870 Palestinians were wounded between March 30th and April 11th.
“The large number of casualties among unarmed demonstrators, including a high percentage of demonstrators hit by live ammunition, has raised concerns about excessive use of force,” it said.
In 2017 last year, Sanders called to end the ’50-year occupation’ of Palestinian territory by Israel in a speech he made, stating that Washington should seek policies that will ensure a “prosperous future for Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians alike”.
“Like our own country, the founding of Israel involved the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people,” he says. “Over 700,000 people were made refugees.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.