Urgent Appeal: Gaza Palestinians in Dire Need Of Humanitarian Assistance
Middle East and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The past weeks have witnessed a humanitarian crisis skyrocket to catastrophic proportions. For the past 16 years, Israel has sustained a complete and illegal blockade of Gaza, controlling its sea, land, borders, and airspace.  This escalated on the 9th of October, with Israel announcing a ‘complete siege’ on Palestanians’ access to food, water, fuel and electricity supplies, in retaliation to Hamas’s attacks. 
The Rafah border is the only available crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Even though Egypt has vowed to keep that border open, Israel has denied Palestians any right to humanitarian aid, and has bombed the road crossing every chance it has gotten.  Egypt has stacked several convoys of aid by the borders, unable to reach Palestinian civilians in desperate need for it to live. With this being the only crossing not controlled by Israel, they have without question bombed it three times, in only 24 hours, to ensure that no aid reaches the Palestinians in Gaza. 
Egypt has urged the international community to route their aid through the El-Arish International Airport, which is located in the capital of North Sinai, 50 km west of the Rafah border.  It has also announced that the border crossing will remain operational, despite rumors, however not at full capacity, as a result of Israel’s airstrike damages. 
More than 330,000 Palestanians have been displaced since Israel has bombarded Gaza on 11th October, while entire communities and homes lay in ruins.  Mohammed Abu Mosabeh, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Gaza, pleads the international community for a safe corridor, where paramedics and aid can reach the wounded.  He renders the attacks being made on medical assistance to Palestanians as a ‘blatant violation of all international treaties and laws’, adding that the ‘intentional destruction of infrastructure adds to the complexity’ of their mission. 
Amnesty International reports that at least 1,500 Palestanians have been killed, while more than 6,000 injured.  The Secretary General of Amnesty International asserts that Israel must immediately lift its illegal 16-year blockade on the Gaza Strip, and renders the punishment of Gaza’s civilians as an inhumane war crime, which violates Israel’s obligation under international law to ensure the civilian’s basic needs.  Amnesty International warns that the shut down of Gaza’s only power plant will only ‘exacerbate the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe’, and will have a severe effect on essential services when they are needed the most, amidst the ongoing conflict.  Furthermore, it has raised concerns of the bombing of the Rafah border, and has called on Israeli authorities to ensure safe corridors in Gaza for civilians in need of humanitarian aid, as well as to refrain from committing any unlawful acts that lead to the killing or injuring of Gaza’s civilians.  U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said early on Tuesday, the 17th of October, that he agreed with Israel to come up with a plan to get aid into Gaza, but the time frame for any deliveries remains unclear. 
For 75 years now, the international community has chosen to turn a blind eye to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Israelis have continuously bombed Palestinian cities, raided homes, and killed civilians. What's more, they are now actively striving to deprive Palestinians of even the most fundamental necessities for enduring this crisis, and displacing them from their country. Today’s events are not sudden and the silences of decision makers cannot be accepted. The lack of real action has motivated Israel to continue violating the basic rights of Palestinian citizens under Article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Palestinians’ plea for assistance echoes loudly on all types of media outlets, from news articles to social media. It’s time to diminish the illegal blockades, resist inhumane actions, and hold Israeli authorities responsible for their actions.
Sources and Further Reading
 Topher L. McDougal, The Conversation, (2023, October 12), ‘Gaza depends on UN and other global aid groups for food, medicine and basic services – Israel-Hamas war means nothing is getting in’ <Gaza depends on UN and other global aid groups for food, medicine and basic services – Israel-Hamas war means nothing is getting in> accessed 15 October 2023.
 Ahramonline, (2023, October 10), ‘Israel blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza from Egypt as it strikes Rafah crossing on Palestinian side’ <Israel blocks humanitarian aid to Gaza from Egypt as it strikes Rafah crossing on Palestinian side - Foreign Affairs> accessed 15 October 2023.
 Le Monde, (2023. 2023, October 15), ‘Aid for Gaza stuck in Egypt with Rafah crossing closed’ <Aid for Gaza stuck in Egypt with Rafah crossing closed> accessed 15 October 2023.
 Merna Hashem, Ahramonline, (2023, October 12), ‘Egypt designates El-Arish airport as Gaza aid hub, denies Rafah border crossing closure’ <Egypt designates El-Arish airport as Gaza aid hub, denies Rafah border crossing closure - Foreign Affairs> accessed 15 October 2023
 Mohamed Soulaimane, The New Humanitarian, (2023, October 12), ‘Under Israeli bombardment, a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza gathers pace’ <Under Israeli bombardment, a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza gathers pace> accessed 15 October.
 Amnesty International, (2023, October 13), ‘Israel/OPT: Appalling Gaza “evacuation order” must be rescinded by Israel immediately’ <Israel/OPT: Appalling Gaza “evacuation order” must be rescinded by Israel immediately - Amnesty International> accessed 18 October.
 Amnesty International, (2023, October 12), ‘Israel/OPT: Israel must lift illegal and inhumane blockade on Gaza as power plant runs out of fuel’ <Israel must lift illegal and inhumane blockade on Gaza - Amnesty International> accessed 15 October.
 Reuters, (2023, October 17), ‘Gaza aid arrives at border crossing but no plan for delivery yet’, <https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/trucks-carrying-aid-gaza-strip-arrive-rafah-crossing-witness-2023-10-17/> accessed 18 October.