A rapid solution to Gaza's humanitarian crisis to ensuring stability in the Middle East

A rapid solution to Gaza's humanitarian crisis is “essential to ensuring stability in the Middle East”, and Council of Europe member States, Israel and the Palestinian authorities should mobilise all efforts to alleviate the humanitarian plight of the population of the Gaza Strip, said the PACE Migration Committee today.

The draft resolution on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, adopted unanimously on the basis of the report by Eva-Lena Jansson (Sweden, SOC), states that the 9-year blockade of Gaza by both Israel and Egypt has “subjected its population to collective punishment” in contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law. In all, 80% of the population relies on humanitarian assistance.

The lifting of the blockade “is a vital precondition” to the resolution of the humanitarian crisis and should be facilitated by the international community through the provision of security conditions necessary for the free movement of people and goods. With this aim, a new international conference on the reconstruction of Gaza should be called.

The adopted text calls on the international community to ensure access to medical and social services for Gaza’s population and provide a sustainable solution concerning water and energy supplies. For their part, the Israeli authorities should lift the blockade to ensure that the population of Gaza has access to basic and inalienable human rights and prepare for the removal of the blockade while helping to facilitate Gaza’s exports to Israel, the West Bank and beyond. The Palestinian authorities should reject and condemn acts of terrorism against Israel, form an effective and cohesive government, bridging the two territories, and prepare a multi-year Action Plan for Palestinian State-Building.

The committee reiterated the Assembly’s consistent position that only a negotiated, two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and cessation of the construction of new settlements and extension of old ones on Palestinian territory can create the necessary framework for the normalisation of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the promotion of Palestinian state-building.