A political crisis in Gaza is depriving two million people of electricity, vital medical care and clean water in sweltering summer temperatures, the United Nations human rights office said on Friday. It appealed to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to resolve their conflicts.
"We are deeply concerned about the steady deterioration in the humanitarian conditions and the protection of human rights in Gaza," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a news briefing in Geneva. "Israel, the State of Palestine and the authorities in Gaza are not meeting their obligations to promote and protect the rights of the residents of Gaza," she said.
Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007 after Hamas forces seized control of the territory following a brief civil war with
security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Western-backed Palestinian president based in the West Bank. Egypt, at odds with Hamas, also maintains a blockade. Hoping to pressure Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza, Abbas, who leads the rival Fatah faction that holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has cut payments to Israel for the electricity it supplies to Gaza.