Gazan Workers Denied Shoes, Coats, Food
Wednesday, November 20 2002 @ 05:55 PM GMT
The Israeli newspaper, Yediot Ahronot on Wednesday quoted Israeli military sources in Gaza who noted that for laborers in the 'Eretz industrial zone' it was now forbidden to wear shoes or bring in food. For other industrial zones, wearing coats is now forbidden.
These new policies come in the wake of recent comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to 'ease the suffering' of Palestinians not 'involved in terrorism.' Israeli sources defended these new policies as claiming that it would prevent smuggling of weapons.
Prior to the first Intifada, Gazans used to seek work in Israel. According to the human rights group, LAW society, since the Oslo peace process, Gaza has been completely sealed off - essentially a large prison - with devastating effects on employment and poverty levels there.
LAW also stated that during this Intifada small workshops, green houses and farm lands have all come under Israeli bombardment.
Many Gazans are forced to seek laboring work to survive, essentially becoming a pool of extremely cheap labor for Israeli industrial zones (illegally built in the Occupied Territories) and settlement building.
According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, 84.6% of Gazans live in poverty (measured by income). The World Bank, defining poverty as living under 2USD a day, notes that 70% of Gazans live in poverty.
86.1% of Gazans receive humanitarian aid, while 42.1% of all Gazans are totally dependant on food aid. 31.2% of all Gazans suffer from malnutrition. Gaza: 13.2% suffer acute, and 18% suffer chronic,
LAW denounced the new policy saying, "This new move is a new form of robbing Gazans of their dignity, and carries strong racist overtones. " They also stressed that such policies are in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
-Palestine Chronicle (palestinechronicle.com). Redistributed via Press International News Agency (PINA).
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