Rehabilitation Sector in PNGO Network: 10000 citizens have sustained various disabilities due to the Israeli aggression

The Rehabilitation Sector for People with Disabilities in the Palestinian NGOs Network warns of the severe repercussions of the escalating and ongoing Israeli aggression in Gaza on the lives of people with disabilities amid an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.

The sector indicates that hundreds of people with disabilities have been martyred and thousands injured. Additionally, ten thousand citizens have sustained various disabilities due to the Israeli aggression, along with tens of thousands of displaced individuals with disabilities facing difficult displacement conditions and severe psychological trauma.

The destruction of infrastructure, main roads, accommodations, and offices of organizations working in rehabilitation by the occupation has severely limited the mobility and access to services for people with disabilities. This has significantly reduced their chances of evacuation, putting their lives at great risk, and they have also lost their assistive tools due to the necessity of abandoning them during bombings.

The lives of people with disabilities are endangered by severe shortages in water, food, energy, medicine, medical treatment, and rehabilitation services. In terms of displacement, many people with disabilities face significant difficulties in overcrowded and unaccommodating shelters lacking inclusivity, which makes it even harder for them to obtain humanitarian aid, use bathrooms, and meet other essential needs.

People with disabilities, like other Palestinian citizens, are subjected to the crimes of the occupation, but their impact is doubled. The lack of inclusivity in the surrounding environment, its destruction by the occupation, or the destruction of their assistive tools decreases their chances of survival. Their ability to evacuate and reach health facilities and shelters is hindered, and the ongoing blockade and closure of humanitarian crossings prevent them from obtaining necessary medications, special food, and rehabilitation services.

The lack of adequate shelters and overcrowding further complicates the access of people with disabilities to the already limited available services. They suffer more from malnutrition, which exposes them to chronic diseases and the risk of death.

Women with disabilities face compounded challenges during the war, especially due to the lack of specific health supplies for them as women with disabilities, along with the severe shortage of inclusivity requirements, extreme overcrowding in shelters, and the presence of some women in tents on the sand needing access to mostly non-accommodative bathrooms. Additionally, women with disabilities face difficulties in obtaining food, medicine, and health and rehabilitation follow-ups, significantly affecting their health. Due to overcrowding and lack of privacy, they are also vulnerable to abuse and violence, worsening their psychological conditions.

The Rehabilitation Sector points to the significant increase in disabilities caused by the war, nearing ten thousand cases, half of them children. The occupation's prevention of the entry of assistive tools and medical supplies, and the ban on traveling for treatment abroad amidst the destruction of health infrastructure and most health facilities, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers, endangers their lives. This constitutes a clear violation of international agreements for the protection of civilians, impacting Article 11 of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which calls for all necessary measures to protect people with disabilities, and Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for the protection of women and girls from violence during wars and emergencies.

The Rehabilitation Sector for People with Disabilities calls for the urgent protection of people with disabilities and condemns the crimes committed by the occupation against our Palestinian people in all occupied Palestinian territories, especially the massacres and deliberate genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

The sector also calls for the swift provision of special needs for people with disabilities, including assistive tools such as wheelchairs, crutches, hearing aids, canes for visual impairment, medical mattresses, and others, and to support organizations working in the rehabilitation field to enhance their capacity to respond to their needs.

Subscribe to the mailing list