Lana Abu Hijileh: U.S. Has A Double Standard on Human Rights in Palestine and Israel

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Lana: What we saw in Gaza over the past two weeks [of April] -- I think people of Gaza after almost more than 11 years of a blockade that created a humanitarian crisis that's now chronic, coming out and saying enough is enough, and the world needs to see what's happening in Gaza and try to find solutions. It is, I would call, a freedom march. The food security has deteriorated, real poverty, and the highest unemployment levels are among youth.

Even the private sector that we thought at least could keep Gaza going is disintegrating, cannot handle this type of closure anymore. The water and sanitation situation is becoming really on the edge of what I would say, a catastrophe. And of course, the underlying reasons are historic, but also with the energy crisis, with the lack of electricity supply on continuous basis -- I think now it's down to almost four hours a day that people in Gaza get electricity. And almost 90% of the water is not up to the WHO standard. It's saline contaminated.

So even with the poverty, people now have to pay for drinking water and other kinds of household resources, which they cannot afford. I was there about two weeks ago assessing the water situation and I was really struck by how we are now on the brink of a total collapse of the system. I went into the communities that have been effected directly by the three, four wars over the last ten years and the blockade. And literally, they have nothing. Naïve me, I thought it broke them. And then, I left the Thursday before the march, watching the news and seeing those thousands and thousands of woman, youth, men, old, young, marching peacefully. I was like, Lana, you're mistaken. You really didn't get it. And that's why I say, wars do not break the soul. And I say that the people of Gaza strive for freedom, for real change, a positive change in their lives. So despite how we think that the forgotten people have been broken, the forgotten people are still there. And they need to be recognized.

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