SVF launched Advocacy for Displaced Families and Demolished Houses in Gaza Strip Project

1. December, 2015 News No comments

On December 1, 2015, Society Voice Foundation- SVF launched this 12 months project to advocate the rights of displaced families whose homes were demolished by the Israeli war machines during the summer 2014. This project is funded by Human Rights and IHL Secretariat to raise the concerns and demands of these families who lost their houses at the national and international levels. SVF will lead campaigns to influence the decision makers from the public, international and local organizations to achieve the demands of these vulnerable families including children, women and elderly people. SVF will raise the demands of these people of rebuilding their homes and integrating them in their locations once again. To do so, SVF will organize a national network of at least 50 key civil society activists and organizations from all social and political spectrums to support the campaign. The activities of the national network led by SVF will engage the national and international media to raise the concerns of displaced people to various decision makers and relevant organizations. Campaign also involves conducting public debate activities including hall town meetings, focus groups, local and regional conferences and high level meetings in all areas of the Gaza Strip.

 

There have been thousands of Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip affected by the last Israeli military operation summer 2014. This operation has already created a new environment of destruction, family displacement overloaded with devastating psychological problems. It has left 100,000 Gazans homeless and over 2,100 dead, the majority of them Palestinian civilians, compared with 76 Israeli fatalities, all soldiers. These displaced people have lost their homes and dignity when they found themselves without any shelter. All mechanisms of rebuilding their houses have already failed to do so due to a number of restrictions and de factor situations in the Gaza Strip. This complicated and hostile environment imposes huge challenges on PA. It has already increased pressures and demands on work of local and international organizations including UNRWA to achieve their agenda of peace and development. This has created massive new challenges for PA, Hamas, International organizations and Gaza NGOs as they struggle to meet citizens’ needs and demands transparently and efficiently, not least because resources are sorely lacking after 10 years of blockades. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, following his first visit to Gaza, on 29 April, 2015 said “No human being who visits can remain untouched by the terrible devastation that one sees here in Gaza and as shocking as the devastation of the buildings might be the devastation of peoples’ livelihoods is 10 times more shocking”.

 

Thus, peace, relief and development process face a various ranges of serious challenges due to high level of hostile political environment and absence of human security at all levels. The Gaza Strip has been living in very inhuman and risky circumstances since 2006. The Gaza Strip is isolated from the entire world by complicated closure and restrictions on the movement of people and goods. The society also faces very high level of unemployment, youth addictions on drugs, lack of jobs and resources. The coastal Strip will face a very serious problem as Gazans may effectively unable to access usable water in 2020. The entire populations including are dependent on the international assistance. They also suffer from high level of psychological problems because the coastal strip faced three different large scales of Israeli military offensives that caused major loses of lives among youth, women and children and destruction of already impoverished infrastructure.

However, the United Nations mechanism to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after the last war in summer 2014 has a limited progress. “Gaza reconstruction will take a century to complete due the Israeli blockade” (Oxfam, 2015). The slow mechanism of recovery is another serious challenge on Hamas transformation to play a real role in peace building in Gaza Strip. The security environment in Gaza Strip is very fragile as the entire population has been suffering from the impact of the latest war, closure, slow process of reconstruction and the failure of internal Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah in addition to the peace process between PLO and Israel.

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