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How to avert more death and despair in Gaza

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Scores of Palestinians killed. Thousands wounded. That’s the toll exacted over the past seven weeks by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) against protesters along the security fence separating Gaza from Israel. Unless the situation gets defused quickly, the carnage is likely to get much worse.

Since early April, weekly “Great March of Return” demonstrations have focused on the plight of more than 700,000 Palestinian refugees driven from their homeland in 1948. Exacerbated by the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday – when 60 Palestinians died and about 2,700 were injured – and further fueled by Israeli independence anniversary celebrations and Tuesday’s Palestinian commemoration of Al Nakba (“The Catastrophe”), another catastrophe appears to be unfolding.

Here’s how to avert even more death and despair.

As the peace process has stalled, living conditions in Gaza have grown increasingly desperate: only an average of five hours of electricity per day, dwindling supplies of food and medicine, staggeringly high unemployment rates (nearly 45 percent overall, and over 60 percent among young people), rising levels of water pollution (more than 90 percent is contaminated) and disease(sewage pumps need electricity), and an economy that has virtually come to a halt.

Even so, based on my observations and conversations with key NGO leaders and others during my recent visit to Gaza, nothing’s wrong there that, on a........

© Japan Today