BACKGROUND ON GAZA
Israel maintains a land, air, and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, supposedly to prevent the smuggling of arms into the hands of militant organizations based there. However, Israel also blocks food, construction material, fuel, toiletries, and a long etc, claiming that these items have a “dual-use”, i.e. that they can be used to make weapons.
Israel’s isolation of Gaza can be traced back to at least 1967, but it was after Hamas won a majority in transparent democratic elections in 2006 that Israel created a ruthless blockade of the Gaza Strip. When Hamas took power after clashes with Fatah in June 2007, Israel’s blockade was tightened further. A ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel in mid-2008, in which Hamas would prevent rocket attacks and Israel would lift the blockade, was dishonored by Israel while it prepared for its murderous Operation Cast Lead.