A Palestinian woman sits on the remains of
her home after an Israeli air strike in Rafah
In December 2008.
For five years, the 1.6 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been living under a blockade imposed on security grounds by the government of Israel in violation of international law. This was in response to sporadic rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel by armed groups.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), whose mandate is to impartially safeguard the application of international humanitarian law: “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility. The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law”.
The blockade has devastated Gaza’s economy, restricted freedom of movement, and has had severe negative impacts on the ability of ordinary people to access the essential services they need. The blockade is also increasing fragmentation and disrupting economic, social, and political ties between Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.
Reconciliation between Palestinian factions is urgently needed, but what Gaza needs more than anything else is long-term sustainable development.
- Read the full update: The Gaza Strip: 5 years under the blockade (PDF, 750KB)
What Oxfam is doing
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, Oxfam works with local partners to help people to earn a living and ensure that they have sustainable supplies of food. We are also working to provide water and sanitation, build a stronger civil society, and empower communities to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives.
Besides supporting Palestinians in Gaza to cope with the poverty they currently experience, we are committed to helping find ways to end the blockade and occupation so that people can live with dignity with their rights upheld.
To this end, we continue to raise concerns with decision-makers and the wider public about the need for a lasting peace settlement, starting with an end to violence by all parties.
- Dream On: 5 Years Lost: Case studies looking back at life under blockade (June 2012, pdf 629kb)
- 5 Fallacies in Gaza: The facts of life 5 years in to the blockade (June 2012, pdf 423kb)
- Oxfam Gaza Blockade Factsheet: The Big Uneasy: Israel’s easing of the Gaza land, air and sea blockade: promises and realities (8 December 2011, pdf 207kb)
Stories, pictures and videos from Gaza 2008
- Images from Gaza 2008
- Videos from Gaza 2008
- Read the blog entries from Gaza 2008
'Who is paying the price?' -- January 2009
When the Israeli military offensive in Gaza started on the December 27, 2008, Israel Dadon, a 20-year-old man in the town of Moshav Tlamim in Southern Israel, went out into his local community with the aim to change people's perspectives about the conflict.
Seeking refuge -- January 2009
As a result of the Israeli military operation, thousands of people in the north and east of the Gaza Strip have fled their homes and are now seeking refuge in UN schools in Gaza City. Oxfam's Mohammed Ali, met with people seeking shelter in UN schools. Here is what he saw and heard.
Civilians in the midst of war -- February 2009
Oxfam's Michael Bailey returns to Gaza after the ceasefire and talks to the real casualities of the Gaza crisis - innocent men, women and children.
- Latest news on the Gaza humanitarian crisis
- Rebuilding Gaza: Putting people before politics (PDF 940KB)
- Voices from Gaza (PDF 303KB)
- Read more on Oxfam's response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza on the Oxfam International website