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Gaza blockade

  • WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure

    Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza's separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream. By Tania Hary Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine…

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  • I'm a Palestinian from Gaza, not an alien

    The people of Gaza don't need the sympathy of the international community, they need to be treated like human beings. By Abeer Ayyoub I’m a Palestinian from Gaza, not simply "a Gazan." I’m not exactly what you see in the mainstream media: I’m no expert in firing rockets, I don’t live under rubble and I don’t rely on humanitarian handouts. Actually, I was never aware of how people outside of Gaza saw us until I was given the chance to leave the isolated enclave for the first time. The first time I left Gaza was in 2012, when I traveled to…

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  • The power of speaking Hebrew in Gaza

    Can Gazans boycott Israel while also studying Hebrew at university? One Palestinian believes in the power of understanding Israeli culture and people in their own words. By Abeer Ayyoub “It is 6:30 a.m. Jerusalem time, this is the broadcast from Voice of Israel.” This is how my mornings have always started since I was six years old, or at least on days when I had to wake up for school. Not because I was always interested in the news, but because my father, who gets up for the Fajr morning prayer, can never start his day without listening to the "local"…

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  • When security isn't enough: Separating Gaza and the West Bank

    When the Dutch prime minister offered a way to safely transport goods from Gaza to the West Bank, Prime Minister Netanyahu made sure to put the kibosh on the plan. Why? Because. That's just the way it is. Security reasons. By Itamar Sha’altiel You may have read in Haaretz that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the Dutch prime minister this week to explain a few things about Israel's national security. Maybe you didn't quite understand why this is a story. That's not surprising. The story is Gaza, and it's a story that doesn't make it to the news too much. So, if…

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  • A year after 'Pillar of Defense,' the nightmare continues

    A year after 165 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed, political leaders have yet to conduct independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations. If neither side demonstrates the political will to protect all civilians, the cycle of violations will become a recurring nightmare. By Yonatan Gher On 21 November 2012, 13-year-old Mahmoud Abu Khousa was killed when he was struck by a missile fired by an Israeli drone as he walked to a shop down the road from his home in the al-Manara area of Gaza City. Delegates from Amnesty International's International Secretariat examined the site of the missile…

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  • Israel launches 'price tag' attack par excellence in response to EU settlement directive

    Israel's defense minister orders a halt to cooperation with the European Union-funded humanitarian aid projects benefitting West Bank and Gaza Palestinians. Israel’s defense minister launched a massive 'price tag' attack last week. In response to an EU directive that will help ensure European funding does not benefit Israeli settlements, Moshe Ya’alon ordered a halt to cooperation with European humanitarian efforts benefiting Palestinians in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank. "We are freezing the relationship on everything," an Israeli official told The Guardian. "We did this as soon as we heard [about the directive]. We can't act like nothing happened." Price…

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  • EXCLUSIVE: Photos from the Gaza aid boat intercepted by the IDF

    The following are exclusive photos taken on board the Estelle, as the ship was sailing toward the Gaza Strip in an attempt to break Israel's siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli navy took over the ship before it reached its destination, and arrested some twenty activists, among them three Israeli citizens. Huge efforts were made by the IDF Spokesperson's Office to curtail media coverage of the story. The ship was brought into the Ashdod Port after dark, more than ten hours after the Israeli forces took it over. Later that night, the Israeli citizens under arrest were brought to…

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  • Head of Free Gaza Movement: Anti-Semitic video in question is 'disgusting'

    After being accused of promoting a video which places the blame for the Holocaust on the Zionists, Greta Berlin tells her side of the story.      I just finished about a 20-minute phone interview with Free Gaza Movement spokeswoman Greta Berlin, who spoke from Los Angeles. I exchanged some e-mails with her, I asked her several questions, I read quite a bit of the criticism and condemnations of her from left and right, and the bottom line is that I find her defense to be completely credible. She is not, to my mind, any kind of anti-Semite or wacko.…

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  • Lethal Sinai attack is connected to the Gaza blockade

    The lethal attack on an Egyptian military outpost, in an attempted incursion into Israel, is another reminder of the terrorist infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula. This infrastructure was built in part on the basis of the Gaza-Egypt-Israel smuggling industry, which is fueled by the massive restrictions on movement and trade imposed on the Strip by Israel and Egypt. On Sunday evening, terrorists attacked an Egyptian military outpost in the Sinai Peninsula, near the Rafah and Kerem Shalom border crossings, connecting Egypt with the Gaza Strip and Israel respectively. Fifteen Egyptian soldiers were killed in the attack, in which assailants seized…

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  • Activists set to launch new flotilla to break blockade of Gaza Strip

    European activists are organizing a new flotilla in solidarity with residents of Gaza. Their boat is expected to leave the Baltic Sea in the coming weeks and pass through several harbors in the Mediterranean for events aimed at raising awareness, before reaching the sealed off Strip. Previous flotillas were intercepted by the Israeli Navy, which is expected to stop this trip too. Activists posted a clip on YouTube on Wednesday showing the Estelle, a ship they recently bought for the journey to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The ship is currently on its way to Oslo after going through maintenance work…

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  • Are Israelis boycotting Palestinian goods?

    Although Israelis spend hundreds of millions of dollars on Palestinians goods each year, these products are usually sold under Israelis labels, since Palestinian-marketed goods are a tough sell. Correction added on 7 March 2012. A video item on the Media Line today tells of a Tel Aviv trade fair designated to help open doors for Palestinian agricultural products such as olive oil, to break into the Israeli market - in their own name. It turns out that Israelis are happy to buy Palestinian goods, says reporter Arieh O'Sullivan (sales were reported at $300 million last year) as long as they're…

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  • 4 things Israel doesn't want you to know about the Gaza blockade

    IDF statements about the siege of Gaza obscure much more than they reveal According to the "IDFSpokesperson" account on Twitter, "Gaza is under a maritime security blockade according to international law." The two-boat flotilla known as "Freedom Waves to Gaza," which the army stopped yesterday from reaching the coastal territory, is, according to the same Twitter feed a "provocatilla." Setting aside the issue of whether or not the blockade is legal--and I don't believe that is--here's what the IDF fails to mention when it starts issuing statements about the blockade: 1) In August of 2008 and October of the same…

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  • Flotilla organizers: "We are ready to sail"

    This post has been UPDATED (see bottom) ATHENS - According to recent tweets from the US boat "The Audacity of Hope," which is part of the flotilla waiting to depart from Greece towards Gaza any day now, "the boat successfully completed its sea trials - there is no reason for any further delays on this matter, we are ready to sail." Speaking to a packed room of over 70 international journalists in a sweltering Athens conference room, organizers of Freedom Flotilla II said that the flotilla will set sail from various Mediterranean ports in the "coming days." Organizers informed the…

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