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Over 97,000 People with Disability Living in the Gaza Strip Made Increasingly Vulnerable and Denied Rights

02-12-2013 00:00

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 97,079 people, or approximately 6.
2 per cent of Gaza’s population, live with some form of disability.
TheIsraeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has exacerbated the vulnerability and access issues of Palestinian people with disability and hindered the work of rehabilitation organizations.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its concern for the ongoing deterioration of the situation for people with disability in the Gaza Strip also contributed to the non-implementation of the Palestinian disability law.
Today, December 3, 2013, marks the International Day of Persons with Disability.
This year’s theme for the celebration is “Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all”.
The occasion comes this year as 97,079 Palestinians with disability live in the Gaza Strip that suffers continued vilations of human rights at the hands of Israeli forces against the civilian population, including against people with disability.
TheIsraeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip has exacerbated the vulnerability and access issues of Palestinian people with disability and hindered the work of rehabilitation organizations.
Electricity cuts for 18 hours a day prevent people with disability from charging their electric wheelchairs.
It also damages artificial respiration equipment and equipment used by people with paralysis.
Damage to generators used to turn on medical mattresses for people with movement disability causes ulcers.
Electricity cuts create access issues and exclusion as it prevents people with disability who live in high buildings from using elevators.
The Israeli siege has prevented the entry of medical and rehabilitation equipment needed for disabled people.
Israeli authorities also continue to prevent disabled people from travelling to receive medical treatment outside of the Gaza Strip.
Additionally, the non-implementation of the Palestinian Disability Law No 4 of 1999 has contributed to the vulnerability and exclusion of Palestinian people with disability.
People with disability have been deprived of their right to enjoy, without discrimination, the rights in health care services, rehabilitation, education, employment, and other rights related to sports, participation in cultural life, and entertainment.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights expresses its concern for the ongoing deterioration in access and achievement of rights for people with disability in the Gaza Strip due to Israeli policy and the non-implementation of the Palestinian law.
Therefore, Al Mezan: Calls on the international community to exert pressure on Israel to uphold its obligations to people with disability under international law including under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Calls on the Palestinian governments to take necessary steps to ensure the implementation of the Palestinian Disability Law; Calls for working together in orderto remove all access barriers for people with disability, which prevent the full enjoyment of rights; Calls for working towards social integration and complete accessibility of people with disability into society; Calls on the international community to oblige Israel to end its occupation for the Palestinianterritory, provide international protection for Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, and to seriously work towards lifting the Israeli siege.

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