Israel Falling Short on the Gaza Blockade

The international community has been expected Israel to take steps to loosen the Gaza blockade ever since an attack on a flotilla resulted in the death of nine protestors.

The Israel response came today, and it wasn’t impressive.

More than half of Gaza's population are children.

Amnesty International believes the Gaza blockade imposes a collective punishment on 1.4 million Palestinians in clear violation of international law.  It must be completely lifted without delay.

The Israeli proposal fell far short of that.

“Any step that will help reduce the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza is to be welcomed, but Israel must now comply with its obligations as the occupying power under international law and immediately lift the blockade,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Just as important as allowing goods into Gaza is allowing exports to leave Gaza, yet there is no mention of this in today’s announcement. Banning the vast majority of exports, raw materials and the movement of people has destroyed the economy of Gaza, and pushed its population into unemployment, poverty and dependency on aid agencies for survival.  These problems will not be solved while the blockade continues.”

The Israel announcement offered few details but stated that it promised to “liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza” and to expand entrance of construction materials for civilian use.

As always, the Israelis cited an ever-changing number of excuses to justify this violation of international law.  One cited today was the continued holding of captured Israeli solider Gilad Shalit, and indeed the Israelis are right to insist on Shalit’s safe return.  AI has repeatedly pressed Hamas authorities in Gaza to free him.

And Amnesty International has strongly condemned the firing of indiscriminate weapons by Palestinian armed groups into southern Israel as a violation of international law.  But the Israeli blockade, which limits goods, the movement of people, threatens appropriate medical treatment of the sick and injured and virtually banning exports, target the civilian population as a whole not the armed groups in particular.

“Any restrictions imposed on the movement of people and goods into or out of Gaza must be proportionate and non-discriminatory,” Smart said.

The full Amnesty statement can be found here. A statement earlier this week criticizing shortcomings in Israel panel that will investigate the flotilla attack can be found here.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

28 thoughts on “Israel Falling Short on the Gaza Blockade

  1. Mr Malcolm Smart says it best when he defines israel as "the OCCUPYING power" ( my emphasis ) in Gaza.

    When you ask for Shalit's release, Amnesty, you must ask for the release of the thousands of Palestinian men, women & children kidnapped by the illegitimate israeli "authorities" & incarcerated in their unspeakable torture centers.

    Including the Palestinian member of the Knesset being tortured in israeli detention for joining the Free Gaza Flotilla to liberate his own.

    The Gaza blockade — the starving of a whole population — a blueprint for their planned & programmed destruction, & the destruction of their future generations.

  2. Mr Malcolm Smart says it best when he defines israel as “the OCCUPYING power” ( my emphasis ) in Gaza.

    When you ask for Shalit’s release, Amnesty, you must ask for the release of the thousands of Palestinian men, women & children kidnapped by the illegitimate israeli “authorities” & incarcerated in their unspeakable torture centers.

    Including the Palestinian member of the Knesset being tortured in israeli detention for joining the Free Gaza Flotilla to liberate his own.

    The Gaza blockade — the starving of a whole population — a blueprint for their planned & programmed destruction, & the destruction of their future generations.

  3. Savage: We are going off the point of the blog but I have to answer your false statements.

    Hanin Zoabi, the female Israeli Arab Parlimentarian arrested on the Turkish boat was released unharmed in the first 72 hours after her arrest along with everyone else arrested on the Turkish boat.

    Zoabi already returned more than a week ago ( showing no signs of torture LOL) to her seat in the Israeli Parliament in Israeli's capital Jerusalem, where she continues to exercise her complete free speech rights which all Israeli's enjoy regardless of race, religion or gender, to make her regular attacks on Israel from inside Israel's parliament, as you can read about in this Arab newspaper.

    source:Asharq Al-Awsat http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id

    By the way both the free speach rights Hanin Zoabi, as an Israeli citizen enjoys and the equality of woman's rights Zoabi enjoys as an Israeli Arab women are unheard of in virtually every Arab and Muslim majority county on Earth, almost all of whom are women oppressing dictatorships where political dissidents really are subject to arbitrary arrest and torture unlike Israel where this does not occur except in your own imagination.

    By the way, Israeli Arabs were given full Israeli citizenship, equal rights and the vote in Israel in 1950. Guess when Canada granted Canadian Indians Canadian citizenship, equal rights and the vote? 1960. Israeli Arabs regularly control over 15% of the seats in Israel's parliament, almost all from extreme anti-Israeli or Communist parties that all fully support the Palestinians. Guess how many American Indians or Eskimos there are out of the 535 members of the US Congress? Answer: 0. Guess how many Australian Aboriginals have ever served in the Australian Parliament in the last 100 years? Answer: 0.

    And as far as conditions of detainees in Israeli jails every Palestinian without exception in Israeli custody is visited many times a year by Red Cross inspectors as well as other international inspectors and/or family members. The Red Cross conducts surprise inspections in all Israeli detention facilities without exception and reports excellent cooperation from the Israeli Prison Service. Palestinians in Israeli custody get conjugal visitation rights with spouses, earn Israeli university degrees, etc.

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering. For his "crime" of being non-voluntarily conscripted to the Israeli Army where he served inside the 1948 Israeli borders as a lowly ranked corporal in the role of engine mechanic, he has now been held 4 years in some kind of Hamas dungeon without a single outside visit by anyone let alone the Red Cross, not a single letter from his family, all in direct violation of the 1949 Geneva convention. One partial half sentence in one clause of the 1949 Geneva may possibly mention something about Israeli settlements in the West Bank and this flimsiest of points has been used over and over to base a huge international law case Israeli settlements. Yet the other 98% of 1949 Geneva Convention that deals with the humane treatment of prisoners of war, all of which is being ignored and violated by Hamas in its treatment of Gilad Shalit bothers you not at all ?

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering:
    source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    16-02-2010, Operational update, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory
    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/pal

    “Visiting Palestinian detainees and restoring family links

    The ICRC visited detainees from the West Bank in more than 30 places of detention in Israel.

    Thanks to the ICRC’s family visit programme, which has been running since 1968, some 13,400 Palestinians from the West Bank could visit relatives in Israeli prisons every month over the past year.

    “This is one of our largest programmes, and it is quite a logistical feat,” explained Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, the ICRC’s Tracing Coordinator who keeps the programme running together with 29 other ICRC staff. “Every month, we have to get thousands of permits from the Israeli Civil Administration on time, hire about 665 vehicles, drive the families to checkpoints and terminals and pick them up on the Israeli side where buses are waiting to transport them to the prisons. Then we have to repeat the whole process in reverse to get them home again.”

  4. Savage: We are going off the point of the blog but I have to answer your false statements.

    Hanin Zoabi, the female Israeli Arab Parlimentarian arrested on the Turkish boat was released unharmed in the first 72 hours after her arrest along with everyone else arrested on the Turkish boat.

    Zoabi already returned more than a week ago ( showing no signs of torture LOL) to her seat in the Israeli Parliament in Israeli's capital Jerusalem, where she continues to exercise her complete free speech rights which all Israeli's enjoy regardless of race, religion or gender, to make her regular attacks on Israel from inside Israel's parliament, as you can read about in this Arab newspaper.

    source:Asharq Al-Awsat http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id

    By the way both the free speach rights Hanin Zoabi, as an Israeli citizen enjoys and the equality of woman's rights Zoabi enjoys as an Israeli Arab women are unheard of in virtually every Arab and Muslim majority county on Earth, almost all of whom are women oppressing dictatorships where political dissidents really are subject to arbitrary arrest and torture unlike Israel where this does not occur except in your own imagination.

    By the way, Israeli Arabs were given full Israeli citizenship, equal rights and the vote in Israel in 1950. Guess when Canada granted Canadian Indians Canadian citizenship, equal rights and the vote? 1960. Israeli Arabs regularly control over 15% of the seats in Israel's parliament, almost all from extreme anti-Israeli or Communist parties that all fully support the Palestinians. Guess how many American Indians or Eskimos there are out of the 535 members of the US Congress? Answer: 0. Guess how many Australian Aboriginals have ever served in the Australian Parliament in the last 100 years? Answer: 0.

    And as far as conditions of detainees in Israeli jails every Palestinian without exception in Israeli custody is visited many times a year by Red Cross inspectors as well as other international inspectors and/or family members. The Red Cross conducts surprise inspections in all Israeli detention facilities without exception and reports excellent cooperation from the Israeli Prison Service. Palestinians in Israeli custody get conjugal visitation rights with spouses, earn Israeli university degrees, etc.

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering. For his "crime" of being non-voluntarily conscripted to the Israeli Army where he served inside the 1948 Israeli borders as a lowly ranked corporal in the role of engine mechanic, he has now been held 4 years in some kind of Hamas dungeon without a single outside visit by anyone let alone the Red Cross, not a single letter from his family, all in direct violation of the 1949 Geneva convention. One partial half sentence in one clause of the 1949 Geneva may possibly mention something about Israeli settlements in the West Bank and this flimsiest of points has been used over and over to base a huge international law case Israeli settlements. Yet the other 98% of 1949 Geneva Convention that deals with the humane treatment of prisoners of war, all of which is being ignored and violated by Hamas in its treatment of Gilad Shalit bothers you not at all ?

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering:
    source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    16-02-2010, Operational update, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory
    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/pal

    “Visiting Palestinian detainees and restoring family links

    The ICRC visited detainees from the West Bank in more than 30 places of detention in Israel.

    Thanks to the ICRC’s family visit programme, which has been running since 1968, some 13,400 Palestinians from the West Bank could visit relatives in Israeli prisons every month over the past year.

    “This is one of our largest programmes, and it is quite a logistical feat,” explained Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, the ICRC’s Tracing Coordinator who keeps the programme running together with 29 other ICRC staff. “Every month, we have to get thousands of permits from the Israeli Civil Administration on time, hire about 665 vehicles, drive the families to checkpoints and terminals and pick them up on the Israeli side where buses are waiting to transport them to the prisons. Then we have to repeat the whole process in reverse to get them home again.”

  5. Savage: We are going off the point of the blog but I have to answer your false statements.

    Hanin Zoabi, the female Israeli Arab Parlimentarian arrested on the Turkish boat was released unharmed in the first 72 hours after her arrest along with everyone else arrested on the Turkish boat.

    Zoabi already returned more than a week ago ( showing no signs of torture LOL) to her seat in the Israeli Parliament in Israeli's capital Jerusalem, where she continues to exercise her complete free speech rights which all Israeli's enjoy regardless of race, religion or gender, to make her regular attacks on Israel from inside Israel's parliament, as you can read about in this Arab newspaper.

    source:Asharq Al-Awsat http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id

    By the way both the free speach rights Hanin Zoabi, as an Israeli citizen enjoys and the equality of woman's rights Zoabi enjoys as an Israeli Arab women are unheard of in virtually every Arab and Muslim majority county on Earth, almost all of whom are women oppressing dictatorships where political dissidents really are subject to arbitrary arrest and torture unlike Israel where this does not occur except in your own imagination.

    By the way, Israeli Arabs were given full Israeli citizenship, equal rights and the vote in Israel in 1950. Guess when Canada granted Canadian Indians Canadian citizenship, equal rights and the vote? 1960. Israeli Arabs regularly control over 15% of the seats in Israel's parliament, almost all from extreme anti-Israeli or Communist parties that all fully support the Palestinians. Guess how many American Indians or Eskimos there are out of the 535 members of the US Congress? Answer: 0. Guess how many Australian Aboriginals have ever served in the Australian Parliament in the last 100 years? Answer: 0.

    And as far as conditions of detainees in Israeli jails every Palestinian without exception in Israeli custody is visited many times a year by Red Cross inspectors as well as other international inspectors and/or family members. The Red Cross conducts surprise inspections in all Israeli detention facilities without exception and reports excellent cooperation from the Israeli Prison Service. Palestinians in Israeli custody get conjugal visitation rights with spouses, earn Israeli university degrees, etc.

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering. For his "crime" of being non-voluntarily conscripted to the Israeli Army where he served inside the 1948 Israeli borders as a lowly ranked corporal in the role of engine mechanic, he has now been held 4 years in some kind of Hamas dungeon without a single outside visit by anyone let alone the Red Cross, not a single letter from his family, all in direct violation of the 1949 Geneva convention. One partial half sentence in one clause of the 1949 Geneva may possibly mention something about Israeli settlements in the West Bank and this flimsiest of points has been used over and over to base a huge international law case Israeli settlements. Yet the other 98% of 1949 Geneva Convention that deals with the humane treatment of prisoners of war, all of which is being ignored and violated by Hamas in its treatment of Gilad Shalit bothers you not at all ?

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit's cruel suffering:
    source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    16-02-2010, Operational update, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory
    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/pal

    “Visiting Palestinian detainees and restoring family links

    The ICRC visited detainees from the West Bank in more than 30 places of detention in Israel.

    Thanks to the ICRC’s family visit programme, which has been running since 1968, some 13,400 Palestinians from the West Bank could visit relatives in Israeli prisons every month over the past year.

    “This is one of our largest programmes, and it is quite a logistical feat,” explained Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, the ICRC’s Tracing Coordinator who keeps the programme running together with 29 other ICRC staff. “Every month, we have to get thousands of permits from the Israeli Civil Administration on time, hire about 665 vehicles, drive the families to checkpoints and terminals and pick them up on the Israeli side where buses are waiting to transport them to the prisons. Then we have to repeat the whole process in reverse to get them home again.”

  6. Savage: We are going off the point of the blog but I have to answer your false statements.

    Hanin Zoabi, the female Israeli Arab Parlimentarian arrested on the Turkish boat was released unharmed in the first 72 hours after her arrest along with everyone else arrested on the Turkish boat.

    Zoabi already returned more than a week ago ( showing no signs of torture LOL) to her seat in the Israeli Parliament in Israeli’s capital Jerusalem, where she continues to exercise her complete free speech rights which all Israeli’s enjoy regardless of race, religion or gender, to make her regular attacks on Israel from inside Israel’s parliament, as you can read about in this Arab newspaper.

    source:Asharq Al-Awsat
    http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=21250

    By the way both the free speach rights Hanin Zoabi, as an Israeli citizen enjoys and the equality of woman’s rights Zoabi enjoys as an Israeli Arab women are unheard of in virtually every Arab and Muslim majority county on Earth, almost all of whom are women oppressing dictatorships where political dissidents really are subject to arbitrary arrest and torture unlike Israel where this does not occur except in your own imagination.

    By the way, Israeli Arabs were given full Israeli citizenship, equal rights and the vote in Israel in 1950. Guess when Canada granted Canadian Indians Canadian citizenship, equal rights and the vote? 1960. Israeli Arabs regularly control over 15% of the seats in Israel’s parliament, almost all from extreme anti-Israeli or Communist parties that all fully support the Palestinians. Guess how many American Indians or Eskimos there are out of the 535 members of the US Congress? Answer: 0. Guess how many Australian Aboriginals have ever served in the Australian Parliament in the last 100 years? Answer: 0.

    And as far as conditions of detainees in Israeli jails every Palestinian without exception in Israeli custody is visited many times a year by Red Cross inspectors as well as other international inspectors and/or family members. The Red Cross conducts surprise inspections in all Israeli detention facilities without exception and reports excellent cooperation from the Israeli Prison Service. Palestinians in Israeli custody get conjugal visitation rights with spouses, earn Israeli university degrees, etc.

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit’s cruel suffering. For his “crime” of being non-voluntarily conscripted to the Israeli Army where he served inside the 1948 Israeli borders as a lowly ranked corporal in the role of engine mechanic, he has now been held 4 years in some kind of Hamas dungeon without a single outside visit by anyone let alone the Red Cross, not a single letter from his family, all in direct violation of the 1949 Geneva convention. One partial half sentence in one clause of the 1949 Geneva may possibly mention something about Israeli settlements in the West Bank and this flimsiest of points has been used over and over to base a huge international law case Israeli settlements. Yet the other 98% of 1949 Geneva Convention that deals with the humane treatment of prisoners of war, all of which is being ignored and violated by Hamas in its treatment of Gilad Shalit bothers you not at all ?

    Compare the situation for Palestinians held in Israeli jails with that of poor Gilad Shalit’s cruel suffering:
    source: International Committee of the Red Cross
    16-02-2010, Operational update, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

    http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/palestine-update-160210

    “Visiting Palestinian detainees and restoring family links

    The ICRC visited detainees from the West Bank in more than 30 places of detention in Israel.

    Thanks to the ICRC’s family visit programme, which has been running since 1968, some 13,400 Palestinians from the West Bank could visit relatives in Israeli prisons every month over the past year.

    “This is one of our largest programmes, and it is quite a logistical feat,” explained Veronika Hinz Gugliuzza, the ICRC’s Tracing Coordinator who keeps the programme running together with 29 other ICRC staff. “Every month, we have to get thousands of permits from the Israeli Civil Administration on time, hire about 665 vehicles, drive the families to checkpoints and terminals and pick them up on the Israeli side where buses are waiting to transport them to the prisons. Then we have to repeat the whole process in reverse to get them home again.”

  7. When viewing Israel as an aggressor, keep in mind that Hamas runs Palestine as a government elected and supported by the Palestinians. They (Hamas) are a known terrorist group denounced by the U.N. Hamas leaders still refuse to accept Israel's existence and continue to vow to do everything in their power to destroy the country. The blockade is designed to eliminate weapons and enemy combatants from entering Palestine with the intent on attacking Israel. The blockade is a necessary form of self defense. I hope the blockade continues as long as Arab hatred of Israel continues. To put this into perspective, Egypt has also closed the border to Palestine. Where is the outcry at that. The answer is that Egypt is accepted by the rest of the Arab community. This tends to suggest that the outcry against Israel is a form of antisemitism against the Jewish People. I'm surprised the a group such as "Amnesty International" would tout it's desire to fight for "Human Rights" (including the right of the Jewish people), then aggressively support Hamas terrorism.

  8. When viewing Israel as an aggressor, keep in mind that Hamas runs Palestine as a government elected and supported by the Palestinians. They (Hamas) are a known terrorist group denounced by the U.N. Hamas leaders still refuse to accept Israel’s existence and continue to vow to do everything in their power to destroy the country. The blockade is designed to eliminate weapons and enemy combatants from entering Palestine with the intent on attacking Israel. The blockade is a necessary form of self defense. I hope the blockade continues as long as Arab hatred of Israel continues. To put this into perspective, Egypt has also closed the border to Palestine. Where is the outcry at that. The answer is that Egypt is accepted by the rest of the Arab community. This tends to suggest that the outcry against Israel is a form of antisemitism against the Jewish People. I’m surprised the a group such as “Amnesty International” would tout it’s desire to fight for “Human Rights” (including the right of the Jewish people), then aggressively support Hamas terrorism.

  9. Jeff Morris – You're mistaken. The blockade was not 'designed to eliminate weapons and enemy combatants' from entering. You're correct in that some statements from the government stated ostensibly that this was the reason for the blockade, but other government officials have stated that the purpose of the blockade was not only for national security reasons, but political ones. The blockade is clearly meant to pressure the population of Gaza. This is 'collective punishment' of the whole population and is illegal under int'l law.

    No one is saying Israel doesn't have a right to inspect shipments into Gaza for weapons, but this is not what is currently being done.

    The reason Israel is mainly taken to task for the blockade is that they are the ones who initiated the blockade and are considered by the international community as the 'occupying power' with effective control over the airspace, land crossings and sea access to the Gaza Strip. As the 'occupying power' they have certain obligations under int'l humanitarian law. Egypt is not under the same legal obligations. This is solely based on legal considerations and anti-semitism does not enter into the equation.

    Also, demanding human rights and the enforcement of international law in no way equates to 'aggressively support of Hamas terrorism' except for those that wish to close their eyes to all the facts and make that leap for themselves.

    The blockade is hurting those most vulnerable in the strip – the elderly, the women, the children, the sick – not simply those launching rockets into southern Israel and it is illegal.

    The blockade must end.

  10. Dear Mr Nimh —

    i referred to Sheikh Raed Salah, imprisoned for joining the Freedom Flotilla.

    My apologies.

    He's not a member of your parliament,is he, neither was he tortured.

    Reality's far worse.

    He was targetted for killing for joining the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

    Instead of him, someone who looked like him was killed.

    When he was reported killed in the israeli military attack, the israeli "authorities" didn't deny the report.

    Later, they found out their error.

    Still, i regret my own, factual one.

    The truth has to be upheld, clearly & unequivocally.

    Thank you for your timely CORRECTION fo my error, dear Mr Nimh.

    i stand CORRECTED.

    At the same time, i'd like to correct your errors, too.

    Re Ms Zoabi.
    When the israeli commandos attackd, she didn't feel like she was being protected by all the rights your JEWISH CITIZENS enjoy.

    She thought thet were all going to be shot down.

    She has "complete free speech ", you say?

    She spoke courageously ONLY because she's a courageous woman.

    Not because the atmosphere inside your parliament is conducive to freedom of speech.

    The "authorities" had to put a bodyguard around her in that parliament of yours.

    She said if the MPs had been allowed to have guns, she'd have been shot down.

    Now the MPs want to have a new law, the "Zoabi law", which makes it treason to "incite against the state".

    In other words, to struggle effectively for one's people.

    The Jews are loudly urging her immunity be revoked, so she can be prosecuted for joining the Freedom Flotilla.

    A Hebrew Facebook openly urges "Execute MP Haneen Zoabi."

    The page shows her face with crosshairs on the forehead.

    A figure waves a Palestinian flag with a bloody Star of David in it.

    **************

    Errors — to put it charitably , because REPEATING errors & STICKING by them, turns errors into LIES — abound in your statements.

    Palestinians enjoy equal rights with Jews ?

    Then why don't you have one COMMON israeli nationality in your passports, but SEPARATE NATIONALITIES — JEWISH, ARAB, DRUZE …??

    Why aren't Arabs allowed to live in Jewish neighborhoods ?

    Why are Arab cases & cries for justice denied by your courts ?

    Why are Arab homes & areas seized & shrink, & Jewish housing expand & explode & is lavished upon ?

    Why are Bedouin & Arab civic areas starved of funds, & Jewish zones get all the improvements ?

    Why are road & highways inaccessible to Arabs, & are for Jews only ???

    Why are Jewish women programmatically discouraged by the Jewish community & institutions from dating or marrying Arab men ???

    **************************

    Prisoners, you say ?

    How many thousands do you hold in your prisons , in exchange for A SINGLE GILAD SHALIT ??

    What about the 1.5 million Gazans, held in that strip's open air prison cicled by barbed wire ?

    Do you want me to give you the Hebrew name of the torture position, just one of many, common in your prisons, a name i'm sure you well know ???

    You talk of the "logistical feat" of your prisoner / relative visiting programs ?

    Do you think the world knows nothing of the Palestinians in your prisons who for years are barred from receiving any money from relatives, money with which to buy food or clothes ?

    Do you know what the world is now calling the israeli / Jewish apologists of israel's apartheid & genocide ??

    i don't wish to tell you.

    i decide not to tell you.

    But one thing i'm thankful for, when i hear your words & "logic", Mr Nimh.

    i'm thankful i do not serve a system.

  11. Jeff Morris – You’re mistaken. The blockade was not ‘designed to eliminate weapons and enemy combatants’ from entering. You’re correct in that some statements from the government stated ostensibly that this was the reason for the blockade, but other government officials have stated that the purpose of the blockade was not only for national security reasons, but political ones. The blockade is clearly meant to pressure the population of Gaza. This is ‘collective punishment’ of the whole population and is illegal under int’l law.

    No one is saying Israel doesn’t have a right to inspect shipments into Gaza for weapons, but this is not what is currently being done.

    The reason Israel is mainly taken to task for the blockade is that they are the ones who initiated the blockade and are considered by the international community as the ‘occupying power’ with effective control over the airspace, land crossings and sea access to the Gaza Strip. As the ‘occupying power’ they have certain obligations under int’l humanitarian law. Egypt is not under the same legal obligations. This is solely based on legal considerations and anti-semitism does not enter into the equation.

    Also, demanding human rights and the enforcement of international law in no way equates to ‘aggressively support of Hamas terrorism’ except for those that wish to close their eyes to all the facts and make that leap for themselves.

    The blockade is hurting those most vulnerable in the strip – the elderly, the women, the children, the sick – not simply those launching rockets into southern Israel and it is illegal.

    The blockade must end.

  12. Dear Mr Nimh –

    i referred to Sheikh Raed Salah, imprisoned for joining the Freedom Flotilla.

    My apologies.

    He’s not a member of your parliament,is he, neither was he tortured.

    Reality’s far worse.

    He was targetted for killing for joining the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

    Instead of him, someone who looked like him was killed.

    When he was reported killed in the israeli military attack, the israeli “authorities” didn’t deny the report.

    Later, they found out their error.

    Still, i regret my own, factual one.

    The truth has to be upheld, clearly & unequivocally.

    Thank you for your timely CORRECTION fo my error, dear Mr Nimh.

    i stand CORRECTED.

    At the same time, i’d like to correct your errors, too.

    Re Ms Zoabi.
    When the israeli commandos attackd, she didn’t feel like she was being protected by all the rights your JEWISH CITIZENS enjoy.

    She thought thet were all going to be shot down.

    She has “complete free speech “, you say?

    She spoke courageously ONLY because she’s a courageous woman.

    Not because the atmosphere inside your parliament is conducive to freedom of speech.

    The “authorities” had to put a bodyguard around her in that parliament of yours.

    She said if the MPs had been allowed to have guns, she’d have been shot down.

    Now the MPs want to have a new law, the “Zoabi law”, which makes it treason to “incite against the state”.

    In other words, to struggle effectively for one’s people.

    The Jews are loudly urging her immunity be revoked, so she can be prosecuted for joining the Freedom Flotilla.

    A Hebrew Facebook openly urges “Execute MP Haneen Zoabi.”

    The page shows her face with crosshairs on the forehead.

    A figure waves a Palestinian flag with a bloody Star of David in it.

    **************

    Errors — to put it charitably , because REPEATING errors & STICKING by them, turns errors into LIES — abound in your statements.

    Palestinians enjoy equal rights with Jews ?

    Then why don’t you have one COMMON israeli nationality in your passports, but SEPARATE NATIONALITIES — JEWISH, ARAB, DRUZE …??

    Why aren’t Arabs allowed to live in Jewish neighborhoods ?

    Why are Arab cases & cries for justice denied by your courts ?

    Why are Arab homes & areas seized & shrink, & Jewish housing expand & explode & is lavished upon ?

    Why are Bedouin & Arab civic areas starved of funds, & Jewish zones get all the improvements ?

    Why are road & highways inaccessible to Arabs, & are for Jews only ???

    Why are Jewish women programmatically discouraged by the Jewish community & institutions from dating or marrying Arab men ???

    **************************

    Prisoners, you say ?

    How many thousands do you hold in your prisons , in exchange for A SINGLE GILAD SHALIT ??

    What about the 1.5 million Gazans, held in that strip’s open air prison cicled by barbed wire ?

    Do you want me to give you the Hebrew name of the torture position, just one of many, common in your prisons, a name i’m sure you well know ???

    You talk of the “logistical feat” of your prisoner / relative visiting programs ?

    Do you think the world knows nothing of the Palestinians in your prisons who for years are barred from receiving any money from relatives, money with which to buy food or clothes ?

    Do you know what the world is now calling the israeli / Jewish apologists of israel’s apartheid & genocide ??

    i don’t wish to tell you.

    i decide not to tell you.

    But one thing i’m thankful for, when i hear your words & “logic”, Mr Nimh.

    i’m thankful i do not serve a system.

  13. Gaza …

    What do you mean, Gaza ?

    The people's last & final stand ?

    Is that why they fear you ?

    For Hamas is real & unreal.

    Real, as the people's choice in their national polls.

    As the yet uncorrupted, uncompromised wearer of the mantle of resistance, fallen from Fatah .

    But Hamas is unreal as shorthand for excuse, for justification.

    Its specter is invoked only to get at you.

    Gaza, you're the guarded bottle containing the genie of Palestine's resurrection, the genie that haunts israel.

    Zionism's own birth fears demand the bottle be sealed forever, & buried beneath layers of legalities, cast under waves of blockades.

    Gaza, you're their experiment in psy ops.

    Their miner's canary, their tide waterline to guage how long insurrectons can be held underwater before the world gasps out its own strangled breath.

    Their experiment in subjecting nations to starvation & disease, to learn when you can begin to go over to the other side, begin to respond as they ask.

    But you endure .

    You start to turn the tide itself.

    Now surging across the Bosphorus to the gates of the West.

    Now swelling across Turkey, a land composed of youth by half.

    You may be the gates to a new, future Palestine for all faiths, Gaza.

  14. Gaza …

    What do you mean, Gaza ?

    The people’s last & final stand ?

    Is that why they fear you ?

    For Hamas is real & unreal.

    Real, as the people’s choice in their national polls.

    As the yet uncorrupted, uncompromised wearer of the mantle of resistance, fallen from Fatah .

    But Hamas is unreal as shorthand for excuse, for justification.

    Its specter is invoked only to get at you.

    Gaza, you’re the guarded bottle containing the genie of Palestine’s resurrection, the genie that haunts israel.

    Zionism’s own birth fears demand the bottle be sealed forever, & buried beneath layers of legalities, cast under waves of blockades.

    Gaza, you’re their experiment in psy ops.

    Their miner’s canary, their tide waterline to guage how long insurrectons can be held underwater before the world gasps out its own strangled breath.

    Their experiment in subjecting nations to starvation & disease, to learn when you can begin to go over to the other side, begin to respond as they ask.

    But you endure .

    You start to turn the tide itself.

    Now surging across the Bosphorus to the gates of the West.

    Now swelling across Turkey, a land composed of youth by half.

    You may be the gates to a new, future Palestine for all faiths, Gaza.

  15. source:Maan news agency
    Tuesday 22/06/2010,
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=2

    Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli officials informed their Palestinian crossing counterparts that agricultural tools, car parts, ketchup, sewing needles, toys and make-up would be permitted to enter Gaza on Tuesday.

    Liaison crossings official Raed Fattuh said 130 truckloads of goods would be permitted to enter Gaza, noting the news was communicated to him by Israeli crossings officials.

    The introduction of new goods comes ahead of the publication of a list by Israeli security officials, laying out what items will be banned form entry under the new terms of the Gaza siege, voted on in Israel's security cabinet Sunday.

    Most of the items permitted entry Tuesday, Fattouh said, were for the support of the agricultural and commercial sectors, and come in addition to limited imports of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel.

    Gaza Electricity Authority officials complained Monday that Ramallah had cut supplies to the central Gaza Strip power plant in recent weeks by more than half. A statement released by the authority said that shut-down of the plant was immanent if additional supplies were not received.

    Israeli officials told IRIN, the UN news and analysis service, that the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip reached 140 per day, with an increasing number of goods included in the shipments.

    "We informed the Palestinian side yesterday that we are able to increase the amount of wares entering the Gaza Strip by more than 30 percent. We intend to enlarge the variety of goods to everything, except material that is likely to be used for terror operations," IRIN quoted Col Moshe Levi, head of the District Coordination and Liaison Office, on Monday.

    Sources in Gaza told IRIN that prices are already dropping in local markets.

  16. source:Maan news agency
    Tuesday 22/06/2010,
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=2

    Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli officials informed their Palestinian crossing counterparts that agricultural tools, car parts, ketchup, sewing needles, toys and make-up would be permitted to enter Gaza on Tuesday.

    Liaison crossings official Raed Fattuh said 130 truckloads of goods would be permitted to enter Gaza, noting the news was communicated to him by Israeli crossings officials.

    The introduction of new goods comes ahead of the publication of a list by Israeli security officials, laying out what items will be banned form entry under the new terms of the Gaza siege, voted on in Israel's security cabinet Sunday.

    Most of the items permitted entry Tuesday, Fattouh said, were for the support of the agricultural and commercial sectors, and come in addition to limited imports of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel.

    Gaza Electricity Authority officials complained Monday that Ramallah had cut supplies to the central Gaza Strip power plant in recent weeks by more than half. A statement released by the authority said that shut-down of the plant was immanent if additional supplies were not received.

    Israeli officials told IRIN, the UN news and analysis service, that the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip reached 140 per day, with an increasing number of goods included in the shipments.

    "We informed the Palestinian side yesterday that we are able to increase the amount of wares entering the Gaza Strip by more than 30 percent. We intend to enlarge the variety of goods to everything, except material that is likely to be used for terror operations," IRIN quoted Col Moshe Levi, head of the District Coordination and Liaison Office, on Monday.

    Sources in Gaza told IRIN that prices are already dropping in local markets.

  17. source:Maan news agency
    Tuesday 22/06/2010,
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=2

    Gaza – Ma'an – Israeli officials informed their Palestinian crossing counterparts that agricultural tools, car parts, ketchup, sewing needles, toys and make-up would be permitted to enter Gaza on Tuesday.

    Liaison crossings official Raed Fattuh said 130 truckloads of goods would be permitted to enter Gaza, noting the news was communicated to him by Israeli crossings officials.

    The introduction of new goods comes ahead of the publication of a list by Israeli security officials, laying out what items will be banned form entry under the new terms of the Gaza siege, voted on in Israel's security cabinet Sunday.

    Most of the items permitted entry Tuesday, Fattouh said, were for the support of the agricultural and commercial sectors, and come in addition to limited imports of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel.

    Gaza Electricity Authority officials complained Monday that Ramallah had cut supplies to the central Gaza Strip power plant in recent weeks by more than half. A statement released by the authority said that shut-down of the plant was immanent if additional supplies were not received.

    Israeli officials told IRIN, the UN news and analysis service, that the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip reached 140 per day, with an increasing number of goods included in the shipments.

    "We informed the Palestinian side yesterday that we are able to increase the amount of wares entering the Gaza Strip by more than 30 percent. We intend to enlarge the variety of goods to everything, except material that is likely to be used for terror operations," IRIN quoted Col Moshe Levi, head of the District Coordination and Liaison Office, on Monday.

    Sources in Gaza told IRIN that prices are already dropping in local markets.

  18. source: Hamas Al Qassam website
    01-06-2010

    -Occupied Jerusalem, June 1, 2010-

    Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party has refuted press reports claiming that Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, was hurt in the Israeli military attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

    She told Arab-48 website on Monday that all Palestinians of the 1948 occupied lands, who took part in the convoy, grouping her along with Sheikh Salah, Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabas, and Mohammed Zeidan were safe and in good health.

    Occupied Jerusalem, June 5th, 2010

    Chairman of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah who took part in the convoy, arrived in Umm al-Fahm after being released. Hundreds of people awaited him and walked alongside his car as they carried Fatah flags and shouted "God is great."

  19. source:Maan news agency
    Tuesday 22/06/2010,

    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=293687

    Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli officials informed their Palestinian crossing counterparts that agricultural tools, car parts, ketchup, sewing needles, toys and make-up would be permitted to enter Gaza on Tuesday.

    Liaison crossings official Raed Fattuh said 130 truckloads of goods would be permitted to enter Gaza, noting the news was communicated to him by Israeli crossings officials.

    The introduction of new goods comes ahead of the publication of a list by Israeli security officials, laying out what items will be banned form entry under the new terms of the Gaza siege, voted on in Israel’s security cabinet Sunday.

    Most of the items permitted entry Tuesday, Fattouh said, were for the support of the agricultural and commercial sectors, and come in addition to limited imports of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel.

    Gaza Electricity Authority officials complained Monday that Ramallah had cut supplies to the central Gaza Strip power plant in recent weeks by more than half. A statement released by the authority said that shut-down of the plant was immanent if additional supplies were not received.

    Israeli officials told IRIN, the UN news and analysis service, that the number of aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip reached 140 per day, with an increasing number of goods included in the shipments.

    “We informed the Palestinian side yesterday that we are able to increase the amount of wares entering the Gaza Strip by more than 30 percent. We intend to enlarge the variety of goods to everything, except material that is likely to be used for terror operations,” IRIN quoted Col Moshe Levi, head of the District Coordination and Liaison Office, on Monday.

    Sources in Gaza told IRIN that prices are already dropping in local markets.

  20. source: Hamas Al Qassam website
    01-06-2010

    -Occupied Jerusalem, June 1, 2010-

    Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party has refuted press reports claiming that Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, was hurt in the Israeli military attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

    She told Arab-48 website on Monday that all Palestinians of the 1948 occupied lands, who took part in the convoy, grouping her along with Sheikh Salah, Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabas, and Mohammed Zeidan were safe and in good health.

    Occupied Jerusalem, June 5th, 2010

    Chairman of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah who took part in the convoy, arrived in Umm al-Fahm after being released. Hundreds of people awaited him and walked alongside his car as they carried Fatah flags and shouted “God is great.”

  21. Dear Mr Nimh.

    Salah is unharmed.

    i know.

    Someone else looked like him, & died for him.

    As for israel's generosity in allowing things piecemeal into Gaza —

    we don't want your charity.

    EVER.

    JUST GET OUT.

  22. When you say JUST GET OUT…who are you telling to get out and get out of where? Are you telling Jews to GET OUT OF ISRAEL?

    You better start getting used to the fact Israel is a Nation in and of itself. Welcome to planet earth and the year 2010.

    You do not sound like the Amnesty International Type (atleast the persona they try to pass at times).

    You sir are a dillusional hater.

  23. Dear Mr Nimh.

    Salah is unharmed.

    i know.

    Someone else looked like him, & died for him.

    As for israel’s generosity in allowing things piecemeal into Gaza –

    we don’t want your charity.

    EVER.

    JUST GET OUT.

  24. When you say JUST GET OUT…who are you telling to get out and get out of where? Are you telling Jews to GET OUT OF ISRAEL?

    You better start getting used to the fact Israel is a Nation in and of itself. Welcome to planet earth and the year 2010.

    You do not sound like the Amnesty International Type (atleast the persona they try to pass at times).

    You sir are a dillusional hater.

  25. Palestinians must ease Gaza electricity crisis: UN

    (Agency France Press) – June 27, 2010

    GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Sunday called on bickering Palestinian factions to resolve a deepening electricity "crisis" in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

    "It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity," said John Ging, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.

    "It's an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It's a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let's have a Palestinian solution," he told reporters.

  26. Source: The Guardian, Sunday 27 June 2010

    Hamas has launched a campaign warning Palestinians in Gaza against collaborating with Israel following the execution of two alleged informants in April. Posters and murals have appeared across Gaza City, graphically depicting the consequences of providing information to Israeli intelligence. Some include images of nooses.

    "We are educating people with the aim of reducing or eliminating collaboration," said Abu Abdullah Lafi, who is in charge of the campaign for the de facto Hamas government's interior ministry. "They will go through the normal legal procedures," Lafi said. "Not all collaborators will be executed. Whatever the courts decide we will abide by. The death penalty is not automatic."

    The execution of two so-called collaborators in April drew condemnation by human rights organisations. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights challenges the legal process by which the pair were convicted and sentenced, saying it was constitutionally flawed and there was no proper appeals process. "Those accused of collaboration must be guaranteed a fair trial and their rights in law," said Hamdi Shaqqura of the PCHR. He added: "We are very much opposed to the death penalty even for those who have committed severe crimes. The death penalty is a gross violation of human rights."

    The PCHR is alarmed at Hamas suggestions that human rights activists and other NGO personnel have been involved in informing. "There have been attempts to defame and distort the image of civil society," said Shaqqura, who points to the "increasing penetration of Hamas security forces in every aspect of society". The families of those accused of collaboration, often ostracized by their communities, are reluctant to speak publicly. Hamas investigated the families of the accused informants executed in April, said Lafi. "They are with the resistance. They made public statements renouncing their sons."

    During Israel's three-week war on Gaza in 2008-09, According to PCHR, at least 17 so-called collaborators were killed in summary executions by Hamas forces. "We blame the Hamas government for the lack of action against the people who committed these crimes," said Shaqqura.

  27. Palestinians must ease Gaza electricity crisis: UN

    (Agency France Press) – June 27, 2010

    GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Sunday called on bickering Palestinian factions to resolve a deepening electricity “crisis” in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

    “It is such a tragedy that, on top of all the other crises that we have in the Gaza Strip, we now have a crisis of electricity,” said John Ging, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza.

    “It’s an unbearable situation here at the moment, and it needs to be solved very quickly. It’s a Palestinian problem, made by Palestinians, and causing Palestinian suffering. So let’s have a Palestinian solution,” he told reporters.

  28. Source: The Guardian, Sunday 27 June 2010

    Hamas has launched a campaign warning Palestinians in Gaza against collaborating with Israel following the execution of two alleged informants in April. Posters and murals have appeared across Gaza City, graphically depicting the consequences of providing information to Israeli intelligence. Some include images of nooses.

    “We are educating people with the aim of reducing or eliminating collaboration,” said Abu Abdullah Lafi, who is in charge of the campaign for the de facto Hamas government’s interior ministry. “They will go through the normal legal procedures,” Lafi said. “Not all collaborators will be executed. Whatever the courts decide we will abide by. The death penalty is not automatic.”

    The execution of two so-called collaborators in April drew condemnation by human rights organisations. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights challenges the legal process by which the pair were convicted and sentenced, saying it was constitutionally flawed and there was no proper appeals process. “Those accused of collaboration must be guaranteed a fair trial and their rights in law,” said Hamdi Shaqqura of the PCHR. He added: “We are very much opposed to the death penalty even for those who have committed severe crimes. The death penalty is a gross violation of human rights.”

    The PCHR is alarmed at Hamas suggestions that human rights activists and other NGO personnel have been involved in informing. “There have been attempts to defame and distort the image of civil society,” said Shaqqura, who points to the “increasing penetration of Hamas security forces in every aspect of society”. The families of those accused of collaboration, often ostracized by their communities, are reluctant to speak publicly. Hamas investigated the families of the accused informants executed in April, said Lafi. “They are with the resistance. They made public statements renouncing their sons.”

    During Israel’s three-week war on Gaza in 2008-09, According to PCHR, at least 17 so-called collaborators were killed in summary executions by Hamas forces. “We blame the Hamas government for the lack of action against the people who committed these crimes,” said Shaqqura.