Tag Archives: blockade

Israel– The Right Or The Wrong War?

The Israel army has cut Gaza in half as ground forces ripped into the Strip in search of Hamas rocket launcher sites. There are a reported 30 Israel casualties as troops on the ground face well warmed Hamas forces which are ready to fight to the death. The past few days have witnessed an unprecedented air bombardment of Gaza as Israel planes attempt to take out Hamas military sites including those which have been established in civilian areas and even mosques. The growing issue is whether or not Israel is repeating its mistakes in Lebanon by confronting land forces with land forces. Will Israel get bogged down in the streets of Gaza and will Israel tanks by hit by new weapons given Hamas by Iranian sources?

Gaza is not Lebanon. It is flat and there is no equivalent to the mountains as was the case in Lebanon. If Israel troops enter cities, hundreds of innocent civilians will die and there will be heavy casualties on both sides. The reality is air bombing has resulted in massive destruction of the Gaza infrastructure and its population is even in worse shape than before. There is only one logical solution to the current situation– a cease fire supervised by UN forces and an end to rocket attacks along with opening all crossings so supplies can freely enter or leave.

Want A Job–Check With Hamas!

A major goal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza has been to weaken the power of Hamas in the eyes of Palestinians. Ironically, the tighter and more extensive is the blockade, the greater the power and influence of Hamas among people in Gaza. The Hamas de factor government is one of the only employers in Gaza with a growing payroll in an economy which offers scant opportunities for employment to people. A new UN report shows more than 52% of
Gaza households have now plunged below the internationally-designated poverty line despite humanitarian assistance. Unemployment has now reached 45%. The UN Relief and Works Agency(UNRWA) noted 19% are living in poverty in the West Bank and in all Palestinian territory, the unemployment rate is 29%. The only increase in jobs in the Gaza Strip came from Hamas.

The report cites anecdotal evidence to reinforce the impact of the Israel blockade which has created unemployment and forced hundreds to seek employment in Hamas organizations including the militia. As an UNRWA official noted: “If you deprive young people of an economic future, you deprive them of hope and when hope vanishes, what is left? How better to prevent despair and economic misery taking hold of a whole population than to re-open Gaza’s borders?”

Palestinians March At Gaza

An expectd 40,000 Palestinians living in Gaza are marching along Gaza Strip’s border in protest of Israel’s economic embargo on the coastal territory. The head of the Palestinian Popular Anti-Siege Committee, Jamall al-Khudary said: “We do not have intentions of approaching the fence, either in the north or south. We hope all the participants will abide by the nstruction and we will try to prevent any violations. He emphazied there would not be any attempt to confront members of the Israel Defense Force. Mot of the marchers are women and children.

A source in Jerualsam said the IDF would repsonse if shooting breaks out. On Sunday, two Kassam rockets wree fired, one landed in Israel and one in Palestinian territory. The IDF uncovered five tunnels being used to funnel supplies into Gaza.

It might be beneficial next week to have two demonstrations in Gaza. One conducted by Israelis to protest the continued economic embargo and one conducted by Gazans against sites where Kassam rockets are being fired. These rallies would call attention to problems being faced by Gazans and Israelis.

Mubarak Warns Israel About Crisis In Gaza

President Mubarak of Egypt called Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert to warn him a potential humanitarian crisis was looming in Gaza due to closure of entry points. Olmert told visiting Dutch Foreign Minister, Maxine Verhagen, that Hamas has deliberately provoked the crisis and Israel is “trying to hit only those involved in terrorism, but also signaling to the population in Gaza that it cannot be free from responsiblity for this situation.” Israel’s Defense Ministry told Gazans they could turn to Egypt if there is need for food and other supplies, and insists the area is obtaining at least 70% of its normal electrical needs.

Telling civilians they can halt military action is hardly sound advice. People are terrified that assisting Israel forces will result in punishment from those involved in terrorism. Part of the problem in Gaza is the failure of freezing oout Hamas leaders from any involvement in peace negotiations by both President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Civilians can not turn around Hama leaders, that can only occur when Arab nations exert pressure upon Hamas leaders. The first step is getting Hamas involved in negotiations because they will have to deal with Arab leaders rather than standing apart from the peace process. As Winston Churchill once said, “Jaw, jaw, not war, war.”