Israel's Gaza mail ban 'illegal collective punishment': Euro-Med Monitor

Israel's Gaza mail ban 'illegal collective punishment': Euro-Med Monitor
Euro-Med Monitor noted that since Israel's deadly bombing campaign against Gaza last month, Israel has strengthened its blockade of Gaza.
2 min read
17 June, 2021
Euro-Med Monitor complained to the UN's Universal Postal Union [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty-file photo]

A human rights group has filed a complain to the UN's Universal Post Union (UPU) over Israeli mail restrictions in Gaza, which have been slammed as a form of collective punishment.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor labelled the complaint as being for UPU general director Bishar Abdirahman Hussein, according to its press release on the matter.

In the complaint, the group noted that since the deadly Israeli bombing campaign against Gaza last month, the Jewish state's authorities have strengthened their blockade of the Palestinian enclave.

Its note to the UPU said this includes "a blanket ban on mail delivery to and from Gaza" via the Erez crossing.

Euro-Med Monitor chairman Ramy Abdu said: "Israel's arbitrary and punitive suspension of mail delivery to/from Gaza represents an unacceptable and illegal act of collective punishment against a civilian population".

The organisation's complaint explained: "This abrupt suspension of mail delivery has harmed numerous people".

It has caused disruption to people expecting delivery of passports so they can access outside healthcare and educational opportunities, or to meet with relatives not residing in Gaza.

Live Story

The NGO said those "waiting indefinitely" to send or be sent passports by foreign embassies are, therefore, unable to get "security permits" from Israel "even in dire humanitarian circumstances."

This leaves them unable to exit Gaza.

Euro-Med Monitor urged Israel to "lift the restriction on postal delivery given the severe violation of Gaza residents' basic rights and the infringement on their livelihoods and family life."

A detailed map of Israel's siege of Gaza
Click here to enlarge image

The complaint added that Israel "has long maintained unnecessary and punitive restrictions on postal services in Gaza, whereby only paper mail is allowed in/out of the enclave."

Israel has been blockading Gaza since 2006.

In addition to post, the quantities and types of many other items allowed to enter the enclave are tightly controlled by Israel.

Such restrictions have led to serious shortages of essentials like food, fuel and medicine.