Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ending Gaza’s Isolation: Siege Must Be Broken

By Steve Fake, uruknet.info, July 16, 2011

The Israeli closure imposed upon the Gaza Strip is approaching its fifth year, ‘choking off any real possibility of economic development,’ in the words of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Contrary to attempts to whitewash the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the blockade has created rampant unemployment, poverty, and unparalleled degradation of the medical system. The stated rationale for the Israeli siege is to prevent the importation of goods that would provide support for the ruling Hamas party. The reality has prompted the ICRC, not known for overstatement, to call it “collective punishment” – a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The recent halting and partial opening of the Rafah Crossing, while welcome, only applies to the (still restricted) movement of people, rather than supplies, and will not ease the humanitarian situation.

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