Kourosh Ziabari - The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stirred up international appreciation after he courageously blasted the Tel Aviv leaders for the bloody massacre of the peace activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla convoy of humanitarian aids which was heading towards the besieged Gaza strip to break the three-year-long blockade of the war-stricken enclave.
The beleaguered Gaza strip has been grappling with deteriorating economic and social situation over the past three years and needs urgent humanitarian aids to be disentangled from the growing crisis it's facing. More than 80% of the Gaza strip's 1.5m population lives under poverty threshold. The unemployment rate of the enclave hit 41.3% in 2008. According to the United Nations' World Food Program (WFP), some 70 percent of Gaza's population is food insecure and the vast majority is dependant on assistance from the United Nations to cover its basic needs.
According to the World Health Organization, 98 percent of industrial operations in Gaza have been shut down and there are acute shortages of fuel, cash, cooking gas and other basic supplies due to Israel's blockade of the enclave since 2007.
Israel's military operation in Gaza in the late 2008 and early 2009 led to the destruction of more than 7,500 Palestinian homes and displacement of some 3,500 families; however, Tel Aviv's prevention of the entry of infrastructural and building materials have impeded the reconstruction of the ruined homes and those 3,500 families are still living without any shelter and protection.
According to the Gaza-based freelance journalist and photographer Sameh Habeeb, the Israeli forces launched a massive attack on Gaza's infrastructures in June 2006 after an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was incarcerated by Hamas. Shalit is the only Israeli prisoner being kept in the jails of Palestinian authorities while the Israeli regime is keeping 7,383 Palestinian prisoners, 340 of whom are Children.