Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Eyeless in Gaza

Anav Silverman
25 January '10

The past year brought a fresh wave of anti-Israel rhetoric and accusations, most of which cited Israel’s “siege” of Gaza during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead as evidence of Israel’s injustice toward the Palestinians. The international press frequently echoed calls by human rights groups and activists to “end Israel’s illegal blockade” and “liberate Gaza.” Such messages have been conceived to undermine Israel and present a very misleading picture of the actual Gaza conflict.

In a typical blockade, no supplies would be allowed to enter into enemy territory. Similarly, most English dictionaries define siege as an “act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies.” But in fact Israel has allowed substantial shipments of aid into Gaza. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website has reported that in 2009 alone, Israel allowed 703, 224 tons of humanitarian aid and 105,600,128 liters of fuel to be delivered into the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead.

“The IDF invested major resources to enable the flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip,” said Col. Moshe Levi, the head of the IDF’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration, in November 2009. According to Levi, humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip increased by 900 percent compared to the previous year. Over 22, 893 humanitarian aid trucks entered into Gaza throughout 2009.

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