Gaza is ‘more dependent than ever on outside aid’ : ICRC spokesperson

Haaretz reports on the ICRC’s Mathilde De Riedmatten’s interview available on the ICRC site, and not through the malignant, harm minimising IDF prism this time. Mathilde confirms that the ICRC is concerned about the fact that “the 1.5 million people in the Strip are unable to live a normal and dignified life”.

Some of the most salient, distressing points about the hardship suffered by the civilian population of Gaza which are better highlighted on the ICRC site than in the Haaretz version:

“The area along the fence extending 300 metres into Gaza has been declared a no-go zone by the Israel Defense Forces. A far bigger area, extending nearly one kilometre into the Gaza Strip, is considered dangerous because of the Israeli military’s incursions and use of live ammunition.

Gaza is more dependent than ever on outside aid. For young people – fully 50 per cent of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents are under 18 years of age – there is a crushing lack of prospects, and it is a constant struggle for them to maintain hope in the future.

The strict limits on imports and the almost absolute ban on exports imposed by Israel make economic recovery impossible. The unemployment rate currently stands at nearly 40 per cent. It will remain ruinously high as long as the economy fails to recover. This difficult situation exacerbates the considerable hardship already caused by the collapse of previously prosperous branches of the economy.

Over the years, access to land suitable for agriculture has been eroded by restrictions imposed in the areas near Israel and the levelling of land and destruction of trees by the Israel Defense Forces. To make matters worse, the high price or even total lack of some farm inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides, etc., and the lack of export opportunities have weighed heavily on the primary sector. In addition, many fishermen have lost their livelihood as a result of Israel reducing the area at sea within which it allows fishing to three nautical miles from Gaza’s coastline.”

The restriction on the movement of people out of Gaza remains unchanged. The current Israeli permit system, combined with rigorous controls, means that only people in need of medical attention who fulfil strict security criteria are allowed to leave either through the Rafah crossing into Egypt or through the Erez crossing into Israel. Very few other people are allowed out of Gaza.

The entry of goods into Gaza is also still highly restricted, not only in terms of quantity but also in terms of the particular items allowed. Long delays are frequent. Some goods that are allowed in are so expensive that their availability hardly matters to the vast majority of the population, who could never afford them. Although there has been media coverage of the export of certain cash crops such as carnations and strawberries, the actual level of exports from the Gaza Strip remains close to zero. Imports of construction supplies and raw materials are still mostly banned, even though they are vital to the territory’s infrastructure and economic recovery.

Unless there is political change that results in freedom of movement for Gazans, increased imports of a variety of goods and significant exports, there will be no improvement.”

Thus it is clear that Israel is still enforcing its vile, illegal policy of collective punishment against the civilian population of Gaza.

Nutanyahoo faces protests at AIPAC 2011

Good job, CODEPINK!

Related Links

Why Sasha Gelzin disrupted Netanyahu at AIPAC – interview

CODEPINK issued a press release about tonight’s protests stating:

The protesters, 5 in all, rose one by one, unfurled banners, and chanted slogans. In response to Netanyahu’s claim that returning to the 1967 borders would be “indefensible,” activists called out that various aspects of Israel’s policy are indefensible.”

Gelzin told The Electronic Intifada by telephone, “The word indefensible has a more significant meaning than just borders. It also means ‘unjustifiable.’ We had to reclaim this word because all these types of Israeli apartheid are indefensible.”

Among the slogans the five protestors called out were:

“Occupying land is indefensible”
“Starving Gaza is indefensible”
“Bulldozing homes is indefensible”
“Silencing dissent is indefensible”
“Displacing refugees is indefensible”

Obama’s ‘Jewish state’ reference jars Palestinians
Obama to Palestinians: Eh, Colonization Happens
Bibi present, Jewish groups debate partisanship
Protesters interrupt PM’s AIPAC speech

Palestine / Israel Links

Fayyad cans Qatar in new cable released: “Qatar is a very lousy country, in every possible way”. What a treacherous scumbag collaborator!

¶7. (S) Fayyad said that he did not want to see the banking
system in Gaza, despite its problems, entirely collapse. He
worried that such a collapse would create long-term
difficulties in Gaza and would have serious repercussions on
the banking sector in the West Bank. Therefore, he would not
recommend that the Israeli banks cut off their relationships
with the Gaza banks. However, Fayyad said that he would
trust Israeli Central Bank Governor Stanley Fischer on this.
“”I have a better relationship with the Central Bank of Israel
than with the PMA.””

At ACRI : Tribunal on Immigration and Status Affairs: ‘The judges will be allowed to rule without any public debate; in fact, without holding an oral debate at all’.

‘The authorities will be exempt from presenting various documents to the court and will be allowed to demand ex-parte hearings.

Matters of immigration and the status of non-Jews are not currently regulated by a clear immigration policy. Therefore, once this tribunal is established, all the executive, legislative, and judicial powers pertaining to the immigration and status of non-Jews will be in the hands of the Ministries of Justice and Interior.

The courts have repeatedly criticized the executive branch for its policies and violations, and thus the executive branch now wishes to establish its own tribunal and so to rid itself of the court’s criticism.’

Eggs Fail To Recognize Omelette’s Right To Exist

No matter how much you hurt them, the Palestinians are never going to internalize the claim that their individual human rights and their collective national rights are inherently inferior to someone else’s, merely because of their failure to have a Jewish mom. They are never going to tell you that it was all right to dispossess them, just because this will make you feel better about the nagging doubt over your own legitimacy that is eating away at you.

why haven’t you heard of Daniel Drennan?
MAY 15: THE THIRD INTIFADA Maroun Ar-Ras/Palestine

Settlers fabricate non-existent “eternal rights”
Palestinian PM suffers heart attack in US
Israel Under Criticism From British Leaders And Politicians for its illegal settlement activity and its treatment of Palestinian children
Refugees and Zionist propaganda
Trial begins of officials involved in gas exports to Israel

Egypt Links

Bloggers slam army council in anti-SCAF blogging day
Piggipedia – SS General Mohsen Hafzi