Everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon:
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Another UN agency joined the chorus of alarm on Friday about the devastating consequences of Israeli restrictions on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, in the run-up to a Palestinian donors’ conference.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that the restrictions Israel tightened after Hamas seized armed control of the territory in June could irrevocably damage the Gaza economy.
It was the third international report released this week about the mounting difficulties endured by the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, following findings from the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.
Let’s leave aside the fact that huge amounts of Iranian money are being spent to smuggle weapons and explosives into Gaza, to support the construction of fortifications on the Israel-Gaza border, to pay the Hamas ‘security’ forces, and to keep the Qassam missile factories humming.
Let’s look at some of the reasons that the Israeli authorities are not allowing free passage from Gaza into Israel.
Today a Qassam rocket damaged a kibbutz factory. Luckily no one was injured. Yesterday a woman was seriously hurt in Sderot when a rocket crashed through the roof of her home and exploded, throwing her into a wall. On Wednesday, more than 20 rockets hit in and around Sderot, and one person was injured. This has been continuing day in and out since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
The Palestinians complain that sick people have to pass through checkpoints if they need medical treatment that is only available in Israel. In July of 2005 (shortly before the withdrawal) a young woman named Wafa al-Bis was arrested at one of these checkpoints carrying explosives. The BBC described the incident:
Israeli officials said Ms Bis, who comes from the Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza, was burnt in a cooking accident five months ago, and had received treatment on humanitarian grounds in the Beersheba hospital.
They said she was making another trip for follow-up treatment on Monday, but planned to blow herself up instead.
In an interview shown on Israeli television, Ms Bis said her “dream was to be a martyr”.
She said she was recruited by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – an off-shoot of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction.
And here is an example of the Gaza ‘economy’ that the World Bank is so worried about:
The IDF [this August] uncovered an underground tunnel leading from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, the army said Wednesday. The tunnel shaft was connected to a Gaza hothouse used to grow tomatoes and situated 700 meters from the border fence…
Army officials believe that a terror attack had been foiled by uncovering the tunnel. According to estimates, Palestinians planned to use the tunnel in order to smuggle explosives and [place] them under an Israeli military or civilian target.
The IDF was also looking into the possibility that the tunnel was slated to be used to smuggle terrorists into Israel. — YNet
So here are some questions for the World Bank et al:
- Would you want the Gazans for your neighbors?
- Whose fault is it that there are restrictions on passage from Gaza to Israel?
- Wouldn’t the best way to improve the Palestinian economy be to base it on something other than murder?