Al Mezan Center for Human Rights has issued a new fact sheet on the right to housing in the Gaza Strip. As a result of the Israeli blockade and closure, imposed since 2007, challenges in access to the right to housing have grown dramatically. In the meantime, the continued population growth and protracted economic hardships, e.g. soaring poverty and unemployment rates, have added to the severity of these challenges.
Al Mezan’s up-to-date fact sheet highlights the impact of almost two decades of Israel’s systematic destruction of civilian property, retaliation against civilians, and forced displacement of thousands of families.
While Israeli forces have routinely targeted residential buildings during military operations, restrictions on the entry of materials and equipment needed for re-construction of those properties have remained in place. In this context, the Israeli authorities have taken measures to slow down the implementation of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism—the plan adopted following Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014 to facilitate repairs, residential expansion, and development of infrastructure. Five years after the Operation and these measures have caused the plan to fail, with many families remaining in need of appropriate shelter.
In its new publication, Al Mezan concludes that the Israeli government’s policy towards the population in Gaza perpetuates the denial of the right to safe, affordable, and appropriate housing, whether through repairs or (re-)construction. The critical impact of this denial has been advanced by the withdrawal of international support for necessary projects in the housing sector.
To read the full fact sheet (in Arabic), please click here.