Posted by: Lister | December 21, 2008

Palestinians forced to search rubbish dumps for food

From the Guardian:

Impoverished Palestinians on the Gaza Strip are being forced to scavenge for food on rubbish dumps to survive as Israel’s economic blockade risks causing irreversible damage, according to international observers.

Figures released last week by the UN Relief and Works Agency reveal that the economic blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza in July last year has had a devastating impact on the local population. Large numbers of Palestinians are unable to afford the high prices of food being smuggled through the Hamas-controlled tunnels to the Strip from Egypt and last week were confronted with the suspension of UN food and cash distribution as a result of the siege.

The figures collected by the UN agency show that 51.8% – an “unprecedentedly high” number of Gaza’s 1.5 million population – are now living below the poverty line. The agency announced last week that it had been forced to stop distributing food rations to the 750,000 people in need and had also suspended cash distributions to 94,000 of the most disadvantaged who were unable to afford the high prices being asked for smuggled food.

[…] Gunness also expressed concern about the state of Gaza’s infrastructure, including its water and sewerage systems, which have not been maintained properly since Israel began blocking shipments of concrete into Gaza, warning of the risk of the spread of communicable diseases both inside and outside of Gaza.

There are still some ships breaking the seige:

[…] Also yesterday, a boat carrying a Qatari delegation, Lebanese activists and journalists from Israel and Lebanon sailed into Gaza City’s small port in defiance of a border blockade. It was the fifth such boat trip since the summer. The two Qatari citizens aboard the Dignity are from the government-funded Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities.

“We are here to represent the Qatar government and people,” said delegation member Aed al-Kahtani. “We will look into the needs of our brothers in Gaza, and find out what is the most appropriate way to bring in aid.”

The arrival of the delegation reflects the growing anger in the Arab world over the Gaza siege, directed at Israel but also at Egypt, which has allowed the border crossings at the southern end of the Strip to remain sealed.

Al-Jazeera: Aid boat breaches Gaza blockade

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Responses

  1. Bread OR qassams.

    Butter OR bombs.

    Water OR mortars.

    Gasoline OR katyushas.

    Electricity OR bullets.

    But not both.

    The Philistines chose the latter.

    Oh well. That was their choice.

    And the result of their choice is this:

    GAZA: 40% WANT TO LEAVE

    Forty percent of Gaza Arabs would like to emigrate, according to a poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. In Judea and Samaria, 25 percent of Arab residents hope to leave.

    🙂

  2. By the way, surely you were aware of these incidents- right?

    ISRAEL FINDS EXPLOSIVE CHEMICALS IN EU AID BAGS

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel said on Saturday it had recently seized a truck carrying chemicals used to make explosives hidden in bags marked as European Union aid for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

    The army said 6.5 tonnes of potassium nitrate were in bags marked as sugar from the European Union for Palestinians in the coastal enclave.

    “We are looking into this report,” said an EU official in Israel. “If it is found to be accurate, this is an illegal act that should be condemned.”

    The cargo in a Palestinian truck was traveling in the occupied West Bank and seized several weeks ago at an Israeli checkpoint, the army said.

    EXPLOSIVES FOUND IN “HUMANITARIAN” AID TO GAZA

    Israel Airport Authority workers discovered two tons of explosive material intended for Gaza-based terrorists. The explosives were discovered in a truck earmarked for humanitarian aid at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

    The incident was the second of it’s kind in less than a month. In late December IDF soldiers discovered 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate hidden in sacks marked “sugar” earmarked for needy Arabs in Gaza.

    EU CONDEMNS USE OF PHONY SUGAR BAGS TO CONCEAL CHEMICALS IN WEST BANK

    The European Union has denied any connection to bags that Israel said were marked as containing EU-donated “sugar,” but were actually filled with bomb-making chemicals bound for the Gaza Strip. EU spokeswoman Alix deMauny said the bloc distributes its food aid through UN agencies, rather than directly, and does not export any sugar to Gaza. The Israeli army said on Saturday that it seized 6.5 tonnes of potassium nitrate aboard a Palestinian truck travelling through the occupied West Bank en route to Gaza. Potassium nitrate can be used to make explosives and power homemade rockets. The EU is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians.

  3. And I have another supporter of terrorism commenting on my blog. Another supporter of bin Laden’s argument that civilians can be targetted in response to the actions of their government.

    Well done, “Peace Now”.

    I guess when you say that Palestinians can choose between food or weapons, then you wouldn’t mind if the tables were turned and the Israelis had to choose between food and weapons.

    But, actually, I can’t believe you think that. You’re too happy that the “Gaza diet” is working:

    Israel’s policy was summed up by Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, earlier this year. ‘The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,’ he said. The hunger pangs are supposed to encourage the Palestinians to force Hamas to change its attitude towards Israel or force Hamas out of government.

    You seem very happy that 40% of those you want out of Gaza — the “outsiders” whose roots are deeper than most Israelis — want to leave. Are you offended by the term “ethnic cleansing”?


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