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What is the real aim of Gaza blockade?

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Zak Malang, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Zak Malang

    Zak Malang JF-Expert Member

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    What is the real aim of Gaza blockade?


    By URI AVNERY

    If a real Commission of Inquiry had been set up in Israel (instead of the pathetic excuse for a commission), here are some of the questions it should have addressed:

    1. What is the real aim of the Gaza Strip blockade?

    2. If the aim is to prevent the flow of arms into the Strip, why are only 100 products allowed in (as compared to the more than 12 thousand products in an average Israeli supermarket)?

    3. Why is it forbidden to bring in chocolate, toys, writing material, many kinds of fruits and vegetables (and why cinnamon but not coriander)?

    4. What is the connection between the decision to forbid the import of construction materials for the replacement or repair of the thousands of buildings destroyed or damaged during the Cast Lead operation and the argument that they may serve Hamas for building bunkers – when more than enough materials for this purpose are brought into the Strip through the tunnels?

    5. Is the real aim of the blockade to turn the lives of the 1.5 million human beings in the Strip into hell, in the hope of inducing them to overthrow the Hamas regime?

    6. Since this has not happened, but – on the contrary – Hamas has become stronger during the three years of the blockade, did the government ever entertain second thoughts on this matter?

    7. Has the blockade been imposed in the hope of freeing the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit?

    8. If so, has the blockade contributed anything to the realization of this aim, or has it been counter-productive?

    9. Why does the Israeli government refuse to exchange Shalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, when Hamas agrees to such a deal?

    10. Is it true that the US government has imposed a veto on the exchange of prisoners, on the grounds that it would strengthen Hamas?

    11. Has there been any discussion in our government about fulfilling its undertaking in the Oslo agreement - to enable and encourage the development of the Gaza port - in a way that would prevent the passage of arms?

    12. Why does the Israeli government declare again and again that the territorial waters of the Gaza strip are part of Israel’s own territorial waters, and that ships entering them “infringe on Israeli sovereignty”, contrary to the fact that the Gaza Strip was never annexed to Israel and that Israel officially announced in 2006 that it had “separated” itself from it?

    13. Why has the Attorney General’s office declared that the peace activists captured on the high seas, who had no intention whatsoever of entering Israel, had “tried to enter Israel illegally”, and brought them before a judge for the extension of their arrest under the law that concerns “illegal entry into Israel”?

    14. Who is responsible for these contradictory legal claims, when the Israeli government argues one minute that Israel has “separated itself from the Gaza Strip” and that the “occupation there has come to an end” – and the next minute claims sovereignty over the coastal waters of the Strip?

    * Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist.
     
  2. PakaJimmy

    PakaJimmy JF-Expert Member

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    "..........na maadui zako watakapopigana na wewe, nitasimama upande wako"!
     
  3. Echolima

    Echolima JF-Expert Member

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    Please read this before you complain about Gaza Blockade.


    Background on the Gaza Flotila


    THE INCIDENT:

    On May 31, 2010, after numerous warnings, the Israel Defense Forces intercepted a flotilla of six ships en route to Gaza. Sponsored by the Free Gaza Movement (FGM), several European Palestinian solidarity organizations and Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), an Istanbul-based Islamic charity with ties to Hamas, the flotilla intended to break the blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza.


    During the operation, flotilla members on one ship, the Mavi Marmara, violently attacked the IDF naval personnel with weapons, including knives, metal rods, clubs, and live gunfire. In the resulting confrontation, nine flotilla members were killed and seven were wounded. At least seven Israeli soldiers were wounded, two in critical condition. The loss of life is greatly regrettable and could have been prevented had the activists refrained from violence. The IDF forces had no choice but to defend themselves from the violent onslaught.


    This was a premeditated provocation by the leaders of the flotilla. While proclaiming themselves to be motivated by humanitarian concerns, the Free Gaza Movement is comprised of longtime anti-Israel extremists who advocate using confrontational tactics against Israel. Organizers of the flotilla embarked on a course that put in danger the lives of those aboard. Activists on the flotilla ship Mavi Marmara were committed to a violent confrontation with the Israeli Navy. As one IHH official put it, "Everybody wanted and was ready to become a martyr."


    The Government of Israel and the IDF made repeated attempts to avoid confrontation with the flotilla. The IDF repeatedly radioed the ships and appealed to the group's organizers to redirect the flotilla to an Israeli port, from where the goods and humanitarian aid onboard would be delivered to Gaza by established routes. The Government of Egypt offered to deliver the cargo via the port of El-Arish. The flotilla organizers, intent on sensationalist publicity and confrontation with Israel, refused these entreaties. Weeks prior to the launching of the flotilla, Israel repeatedly offered the Government of Turkey the opportunity to send humanitarian aid to Gaza via established overland routes. Turkey refused, and continued to support the flotilla effort. To date, Hamas has refused to allow the humanitarian aid from the flotilla ships to be delivered to Gaza.


    People on the other five ships in the flotilla did not react with violence to Israeli naval personnel. Their ships sailed to the Israeli port city of Ashdod and all have been deported to their home countries. Those on the Mavi Marmara, a ship registered in Turkey, whose passengers included members of the Turkish militant Islamist organization, the IHH, confronted the Israeli naval personnel with violence. In light of this violence, the IDF naval forces were forced to act defensively.


    Israel is committed to examining the facts relating to the flotilla incident in a transparent and responsible process, and is currently conducting two investigations. The first is an independent panel of investigation, established by the Government of Israel, headed by a retired supreme court justice and comprised of leading Israeli academics and legal experts. Two international law experts – one Irish, one Canadian – have been named as international observers to the panel. The second panel was established by the IDF to examine the operation and arrive at "lessons learned." These investigations demonstrate Israel's commitment to examining the facts relating to the flotilla incident in a transparent and responsible process.

    WHO IS BEHIND THE FLOTILLA:

    The Free Gaza Movement, a coalition of groups and individuals seeking to challenge what it calls the "Israeli siege of Gaza," has sent boat missions to Gaza since August 2008. The group has described Gaza as an "open-air concentration camp controlled by land, sea and air." The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which is a prime organizer in the Free Gaza Movement, has consistently put their own volunteers in harm's way, and has sought to deliberately provoke confrontations with the Israeli Military.


    The Turkish group Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), is a significant fundraiser for Hamas — the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip and is committed by charter to Israel's destruction. IHH maintains direct contacts with senior Hamas officials and has been implicated in providing logistical support for global terror plots—including the Dec. 31, 1999 plot against the Los Angeles International Airport.


    Previous Free Gaza Movement operations have entered Gaza and have met with top Hamas officials. The movement does not condemn Hamas terrorism or refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. Its sole focus is on Israeli actions. It should be noted that Free Gaza organizers refused a request from Noam Shalit to bring a letter and package with them for his son, Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held hostage by Hamas since June 2006.

    THE BLOCKADE OF GAZA:

    Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza following the Hamas takeover four years ago, and the ongoing barrage of rockets at Israeli civilian centers and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. The blockade is primarily a defensive measure by Israel aimed at preventing Hamas from rearming and threatening Israeli civilians. In particular, the maritime blockade stops arms and other materiel from reaching Hamas by sea. The blockade further aims to encourage the people and leadership of Gaza to accept the international community's demands of Hamas: to end the rocket attacks; renounce terrorism recognize Israel's right to exist, and accept previously negotiated peace agreements. It should be noted that Israel is not the only country blockading Gaza – Egypt has maintained a closed border to Gaza and generally does not permit the flow of goods.


    Despite the blockade, Israel enables the flow of essential goods into Gaza each day. Given the ongoing threat from Hamas, Israel does restrict dual-use goods, such as some building supplies, which could be used for military purposes. At the same time, Israel ensures that humanitarian needs are met and keeps food, medicines, fuel and electricity flowing into Gaza.


    According to international law experts, in a situation of armed conflict, states may impose a blockade and carry out blockade activities in international waters, including detaining vessels trying to break the blockade.


    To date, Hamas has refused to allow the humanitarian aid from the flotilla ships to be delivered to Gaza
     
  4. d

    damn JF-Expert Member

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    source...!??????????
     
  5. S

    Son of Alaska JF-Expert Member

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    The middle East is a powder keg ready to blow,in this region humankind has failed to reach a stalement.Until such time an viable alternative to petrol energy is found this region will always be in turmoil.HAMAS on its part can never fight the might of israel,it thrives on world opinion to acheive its goals fortunately israel with the support of america turns a deaf ear to cries for palestine.Hamashas to eat humble pie and recognise israel's RIGHT TO EXIST,once this is put in motion something will have to give,for even israel is tied of these never ending wars- HAMAS HAS TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP
     
  6. d

    damn JF-Expert Member

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    source?????????
     
  7. Zak Malang

    Zak Malang JF-Expert Member

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    Source is Counterpunch -- America's Political Newsletter. Visit counterpunch.com
     
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