Gaza Siege, “Endless Closure”
Successive Israeli governments imposed a tight siege on the costal enclave Gaza Strip 4 years ago. The siege continues but with different facets. Israeli propaganda machines help their leadership by recommending new strategies in every new stage. Mid of Gaza war, Israelis allowed extra trucks of food into Gaza. The maximum number was 150 to 200. Then it dropped down to less than 100. A partial lifting of the siege is a strategy adopted by Israel, but never a final strategy to end the siege and ease the suffering of the population.
Upon the deadly Israeli attacks on the aid flotilla and the killing of 9 activists, Israel then, eased the siege by allowing similar quantities to that allowed mid of the war. More goods were allowed into Gaza for the first time in 4 years. However, the siege is still there.
A report issued by 22 organisations, entitled "Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade," points out that recent ease is not for the populations. It’s to import of materials for UN and other international building projects. They called on Israel to lift it siege factually.
Israeli propaganda is not a lone here. Media outlets seem to support Israeli account. A report published by AFP news agency on 30th of November 2010, the reporter, Hazel Ward, shows explicit bias and hides the truth behind her words. She says, “For 18 months afterwards, Israel banned the import of cement and other construction materials, saying that it was likely to be used by the militant Islamist Hamas group to fix bunkers, tunnels and other fortifications.”
She only used the Israeli view point that cement is used for Hamas or Palestinian militants for military goals. Indeed, it’s not. She didn’t speak about the ramifications of the War and why cement is needed in Gaza. She didn’t mention that cement is needed for rebuilding the destroyed strip. There are more than 50.000 buildings and utilities that either partially or entirely damaged. Hundreds of industrial units were destroyed. Whilst, populations who lost their homes still homeless living in tents across Gaza. Hamas will not wait Israel to bring in cement to use for bunkers. Hamas which is bringing weapons to Gaza is certainly able to bring cement through Egypt. And it’s happening; smuggled cement is coming through Egypt but with high prices and limited quantities.
She also mentioned that, “The blockade policy was first adopted in June 2006 after Gaza militants snatched Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit during a cross-border raid. He is still being held somewhere in Gaza.”
This statement is untrue, Israeli siege has begun as a reaction of having Hamas in power. The siege initiated by Israel and was supported by International community directly after the elections. The siege started as Hamas refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist. Salaries for employees were not sent to the Palestinian Authority. Tax revenues were not given to the PA.
According to Raed Fatooh, head of crossing commercial committee, Israel will allow 220 of food and other products. Some other trucks will be allowed into Gaza for some International NGOs for building and other purposes. All this sound to be an ease for the siege, but in fact the siege is still imposed. Israel should lift the siege entirely and allow unconditional movement of goods and people from and to Gaza.
According to Raed Fatooh, head of crossing commercial committee, Israel will allow 220 of food and other products. Some other trucks will be allowed into Gaza for some International NGOs for building and other purposes.
All this sound to be an ease for the siege, but in fact the siege is still imposed. Israel should lift the siege entirely and allow unconditional movement of goods and people from and to Gaza.
Israel is not trying to pressure Hamas or other factions in Gaza. Israel knows that all leaders and other members are not affected by the siege. They have their new cars and homes beside all kind of food they want. Indeed, Israel knows and tries to found a gap between normal populations in Gaza and factions’ leaders.
The policy of Israel failed in the past few years to bring down the Palestinian will and determination as they people still adamant and endure the suffering. Siege resulted in only bringing some radicals to public and this will harm Israel on the long term!
The policy of Israel is a new copy of the practices being carried out against the Jews in Europe. Israel which is acting on behalf of the Jews didn’t learn from the history. They are only victimizing us they way their fathers and mothers were victimized under the Nazis regime!
By Sameh Habeeb
Palestine Telegraph Newspaper