Gaza after the flotilla – what’s changed?

It is over 2 weeks since Israel launched its raid on the Gaza bound flotilla. It would seem that the diplomatic fall out, especially in Europe, has not gone the way of Jerusalem. Spain for one is asking that the EU secure a change in the so-called blockade procedures by Israel.

Israelis argue that Gaza is full of food and common resources. Over 7,000 truck loads of goods were delivered in 2009 alone plus countless smuggling efforts. To that, you can add the fuel paid for by the EU, electricity and telephone services supplied by Israel, the falling price of cement, and so on.

One Israeli blogger, David Frankfurter, has described this scenario as “Liar, liar, pants on fire.” Elsewhere, he gives expression to what many Israelis feel. If the world wants a new attitude to Gaza, then writes Frankfurter: –

…..rules need to be formulated, which are simple, straightforward and easy to understand. Whatever Gilad Shalit (kidnapped by Hamas and not seen for nearly 1,500 days) has free access to, this will be allowed into Gaza….  Whatever he is denied will also be denied.  That includes visiting Red Cross staff. And access to medical care in Israel.  And guns.  And bullets…. Let Hamas draw up the list.

But there is another side to this argument. Check out what the Palestinians are saying about Gaza. For example, leading journalist Abu Khaled Toameh has commented how Hamas will ban the intended forthcoming municipal elections.

This is no isolated policy move. The May 2010 report from the Palestinian Independent  Commission for Human Rights documented 20 Gazan deaths in one month alone related to suspicious circumstances or the result of undue force. Similarly, there were 12 reports of torture, harassment of journalists, attacks of private property including UN facilities, and so on.

I was personally informed about the ransacking of the Sharek Youth Offices, where daily raids from government supported entities have resulted in destroyed and confiscated equipment. As a Sharek press statement observed in commenting on the flotilla incident: –

We do not accuse any particular party but stress that armed groups have taken these actions in the name of national security.  Nevertheless, the government in the Gaza Strip has not taken any significant action and has continued to disregard the violations experienced by Sharek and indeed all civil society institutions.  Given that those who carry out the violations do so in the name of the government in the Gaza Strip, we would like to highlight the following:

  • The government of the Gaza Strip is responsible for providing for the security and safety of its citizens and institutions, in particular against direct violations against them.
  • The fact that a group uses a name other than that of the government does not absolve the government from liability in these matters even if the groups are not related to the security or armed forces of the government in Gaza.
  • The efforts by international activists in the Freedom Flotilla to break the siege of Gaza and the attention of the world’s media on the siege has been used as a distraction and a cover to settle scores with any individual or organization arguing for unity, reform, development, freedom and justice in the Strip.  Such an action is a flagrant violation of the rights of the citizens of Gaza who remain steadfast in the face of the siege and Israeli aggression.

With all the efforts being made by our supporters abroad to break the Israeli siege, we believe we must also draw their attention to the ‘internal’ siege, imposed upon us from within through confiscations and the daily withdrawal of freedoms.  

We do not accuse any particular party but stress that armed groups have taken these actions in the name of national security.  Nevertheless, the government in the Gaza Strip has not taken any significant action and has continued to disregard the violations experienced by Sharek and indeed all civil society institutions……… 

You have the feeling that much of this abuse was around before the flotilla incident and will sadly continue in the months to come. So why is Israel to blame? Plus ca change, n’est ce pas?

 

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3 Comments on “Gaza after the flotilla – what’s changed?”

  1. Michael Horesh Says:

    Intrestingly, Egypt is still blocking all aid reaching Gaza from its side of the border: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3904043,00.html


  2. What a great site to discover! And I love your arguments, and Frankfurter’s, re the flotilla hypocrisy.

    I wrote: The last time I sailed the Mediterranean I didn’t say to my wife at 4 a.m., “Let’s go up on deck to look at the moon, or wait for sunrise… and bring a club and a knife with you—and a metal bar, if you have one handy.”

    The last time I joined a protest, I was armed with a candle.

    I hope you’ll take a look at the rest of it @ http://www.sonofthecucumberking.com. And what else I’ve had to say about Israel over tea in Manhattan. Let’s keep an eye on each other’s words.

    Ray


  3. […] of Israel from UNRWA, NGOs, the Turkish Prime Minister and others, there is no starvation in Gaza. Consumer goods exist in quantity. There are even official tariffs to protect some local manufacturers and keep out imports. Hamas […]


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