Gisha Executive Director Tania Hary participates in webinar panel about the situation in Gaza

On October 23, 2019, Gisha Executive Director Tania Hary participated in a webinar panel hosted by Partners for Progressive Israel, alongside Prof. Mkhaimar Abusada of Al Azhar University in Gaza. The panel was moderated by Daniel Nerenberg, Communications Manager at Just Vision. The discussion centered around the current situation in the Strip and on measures that must be taken immediately to improve it, in the absence of a longer-term end to the occupation. In the second half of the webinar, the panelists answered questions submitted by viewers and listeners.

“What’s happening in Gaza is a man-made crisis, not a natural disaster. At the end of the day, a man-made crisis has to have man-made solutions. We can’t just wait for the occupation to end,” said Hary in the discussion. “Although Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, it maintained control, including over movement to and from the Strip. This control impacts all aspects of life in Gaza.”

Prof. Abusada spoke about the responsibility of the international community for the situation in the Strip, alongside the responsibilities of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas. “No one actor in this picture can operate alone to fix the situation,” Hary added. “It’s important that the international community use its leverage to articulate a clear vision for what needs to happen, and to demand greater movement and access in order to allow Gaza’s economy and society to function.”

Answering a question from a viewer, Hary spoke about Israel’s policy of separation between Gaza and the West Bank, and explained why the relatively regular opening of Rafah Crossing (since May 2018) cannot address the acute need for travel between the two parts of the Palestinian Territory. “Rafah Crossing doesn’t connect Gaza to the West Bank and Israel, so while it’s an important gateway for Gaza to the outside world, it doesn’t connect Palestinians in Gaza to Palestinians in the West Bank.”