The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #129840   Message #2937343
Posted By: Emma B
30-Jun-10 - 12:39 PM
Thread Name: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
Subject: RE: BS: New Israeli atrocity: attack on Gaza aid
Keith can you come up with ANY argument that the naval and land blockade of Gaza represents anything other than collective punishment in order to push the Palestinians and make them create a pressure on Hamas after it won the parliamentary elections?

The blockade, preventing all exports from Gaza and confining imports to a limited supply of humanitarian goods, has failed to bring down Hamas but has heaped misery on Gaza's 1.5 million residents.

There is no doubt that some Israelis justify the Israeli blockade solely by saying that it has to continue because of the imprisoned Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was taken hostage in the time the Israeli army was acting within Gaza borders.
(However nearly three-quarters of Israelis said recently they would back a prisoner swap deal, in a Yediot Aharonot poll.)

According to UN statistics, around 70% of Gazans live on less than $1 a day, 75% rely on food aid, 60% have no daily access to water and over half of under five year olds suffer from malnutition.

Even though the Palestinian militant group holding the soldier as hostage deny access as you point out -

Can you justify that this represents proportinate action?

Unfortunately the plight of detainees is used by both sides of the Israel/Gaza conflict as bargaining chips in political negotiations.

Since early June 2007, the Israeli authorities have barred all family visits for some 900 Palestinians from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons. Up to then, visits were already limited to some family members only.

Some people have not seen their jailed relatives for a decade or more. (figure from Amnesty)

Are you aware that in 2006 Hamas dropped any call for the destruction of Israel from its manifesto, a move that brings the group closer to the mainstream Palestinian position of building a state within the boundaries of the occupied territories?