Lets pause and think…

Ever since the tragedy on the Turkish flotilla, Israel has been taking a lot of flack for the blockade around Gaza from what seems to be a very reactionary media.  Personally, I understand Israel’s need to blockade arms and military supplies from getting into Gaza, after all they are effectively at war with the governing body there, but at the same time, I do not agree with the randomness of their banned items list (I believe for a while cinnamon was allowed, but not allspice).  However for the past few weeks Israel’s policy has been under fire pretty hard.  Today, Haaretz reported that both Egypt and Abbas wanted the blockade remained in place.

One of the points that Abbas raised is that the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Strip should not be lifted at this stage. The European diplomats said Egypt has made it clear to Israel, the U.S and the European Union that it is also opposes the lifting of the naval blockade because of the difficulty in inspecting the ships that would enter and leave the Gaza port.

Abbas told Obama that actions easing the blockage should be done with care and undertaken gradually so it will not be construed as a victory for Hamas. The Palestinian leader also stressed that the population in the Gaza Strip must be supported, and that pressure should be brought to bear on Israel to allow more goods, humanitarian assistance and building materials for reconstruction. Abbas, however, said this added aid can be done by opening land crossings and other steps that do not include the lifting of the naval blockade.

Now, it seems to me, the three most involved parties with Gaza (outside of Gaza itself) are Israel, Egypt, and the government of Abbas.  If all three are coming together and saying that they do not want Israel’s blockade taken down, then maybe everyone should pause and think why even the Palestinian government does not want to see the blockade lifted at this time.

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