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Gaza blockade

  • IDF fires on Gaza fishermen despite expanded fishing zone

    One Palestinian fisherman is reportedly wounded by Israeli navy fire, four are arrested and their boats seized. The size of the zone where Israel allows Gazans to fish changes at the whims of Israeli military commanders and politicians, who have in the past openly discussed how they use it as collective punishment. By Haggai Matar and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The Israeli navy opened fire on unarmed Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip Saturday morning. No injuries were reported. [tmwinpost] On Friday Israeli naval forces arrested four Palestinian fishermen off the southern Gaza coast. Israel released three of the…

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  • IDF preventing Arab citizens from visiting ailing relatives in Gaza

    A new Israeli policy makes it nearly impossible for Palestinian citizens from visiting their ailing relatives in the Gaza Strip. All in the name of security. By Michal Luft In a press release published July of 2015, Commander of the Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, announced a new policy intended to reduce entry into the Gaza by Israeli civilians, thereby further undermining the already limited ability of thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel to see their relatives who live in the Strip. [tmwinpost] The decision came about after it was made public that two Israeli citizens had recently disappeared in…

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  • Fleeing the world's largest prison: A journey from Gaza to Israel

    When Shefaa was granted permission to leave Gaza for a four-day visit to Israel to meet with a group of Jewish and Palestinian women, it was nothing short of a miracle. There she could tell her story and dispel the myths about life in Gaza. All at once the activities marking International Women's Day came to an end. Conferences, lectures, and ceremonies alongside commercials for spas, malls, and Botox — which were supposed to cause women joy for one day, while making the credit card companies extremely happy. [tmwinpost] But before I allow capitalism to take over this article the…

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  • Why Israelis are asking the UN to end the siege on Gaza

    After countless pleas to the Israeli government went unanswered, a group of Israelis who live along the Gaza border ask Ban Ki-moon to intervene and end the siege on their neighbors. A group of Israelis who live in the Gaza border region sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week imploring him “to use the power of your office to pressure the Israeli government into adoption of a humanitarian and moral plan that will give hope to peoples on both sides of the border.” [tmwinpost] Activists from the group Other Voice, which penned the letter to Ban, say…

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  • Prolonging Gaza's suffering isn’t only unwise, it’s just plain wrong

    Israeli policymakers recognize that they control the situation in Gaza. If their sense of moral obligation doesn't compel them to correct it, at the very least their interests should. By Tania Hary Israelis woke up on Wednesday to headlines about renewed talks, or rather arguments, about a possible seaport in Gaza. Just hours before, the head of the Israeli army’s Military Intelligence declared that Israel’s security is jeopardized by the misery taking place in Gaza. [tmwinpost] A din of statements – from senior analysts like Alex Fishman in Ynet to Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon – all echo the same common-sense conclusion:…

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  • The only real danger of Gaza flotillas

    Activists on the Freedom Flotilla must understand that the blockade on Gaza is constantly evolving, and that the tactics of yesteryear may no longer be relevant. Putting the spotlight on humanitarian supplies allows Israel to divert attention from the worst parts of the blockade. By Itamar Sha'altiel The truth is that after five years it’s getting a little old. Israeli naval commandos once again take over a boat to Gaza, and again, it happens without any fuss. The Israeli defense minister once again claims that there is no blockade on Gaza, and once again the prime minister tells the activists…

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  • Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What's next?

    Something indeed changed in the Israel-U.S. relationship, the question is what actions will the U.S. take and how Netanyahu reacts — from the Security Council to Gaza. I just got back from the annual J Street conference. The atmosphere was very different from the 2013 conference. Back then it was all about the Kerry mission. This year, talk of peace was replaced by a certain state of shock from Netanyahu’s victory at the polls. Most of the conference participants get their information about those elections from the American media, which was in turn fed by the Israeli media, which presented…

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  • For the IDF, marriage isn't a 'humanitarian need'

    What kind of future is Israel offering Palestinian women when they can't even obtain permits to leave the country in search of a better life? Amira Hass published an article in Haaretz last week about the Israel government rejecting a request by a young woman from Gaza to travel to Turkey in order to get married and live there. The young woman turned to Israel's District Coordination and Liaison Office through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee for permission to exit through the Erez Crossing into the West Bank. From there should would first travel to Jordan before taking off for…

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  • Disengagement? Israel's interests in Gaza are stronger than ever

    There is something ironic and self-contradictory about the Israeli Right's plans for managing the conflict instead of solving it: Israel doesn't have a real interest in truly disconnecting from Gaza. And Gaza isn't going anywhere. By Itamar Sha’altiel Over the past several years Yoaz Hendel has been been positioning himself as a natural candidate to be Israel's prime minister. With a column in Yedioth Ahronoth, his own radio show and an opinion on everything, Hendel is everywhere. Among other things, he also has an opinion on Gaza. It's worth taking a look at: According to Hendel, Israel has only two option:…

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  • A siege of inertia: Israel's non-policy on Gaza

    One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia. By Itamar Sha’altiel There is something tempting about trying to connect all the dots, which show that every decision made by successive Israeli governments have just been part of one giant, logical process. It doesn't matter whether the final outcome is cold and cruel — at least we can find solace knowing that all the pain and…

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  • Seven years later, Israel decides Gaza blockade is ineffective

    After seven years of siege, the defense establishment has suddenly discovered that the blockade on Gaza is not helpful. It's no coincidence, of course, that this realization comes after a war that devastated the Strip and has the Palestinians focused on reconstruction.  "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn't work, let's try…

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  • 'Ending the siege is not a Hamas demand - it is a Palestinian one'

    How is this Gaza war different from all the others? Former New York Times correspondent to Gaza, Taghreed El-Khodary, speaks about her time covering the siege of the Strip, and why the international media is slowly coming around to the Palestinian story. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher “I don’t mind being interviewed. Let’s plan the timing,” wrote Taghreed El-Khodary, formerly the Gaza correspondent for the New York Times and currently an editor at fanack.com, ’’I just need to make sure my sister and her family managed to escape their building in Rimal area in Gaza City.” I had reached out to Taghreed…

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  • How journalists become complicit in Gaza's suffering

    Reporters seize upon the list of Gaza's most recent victims, only to parse their death certificates for proof that they, too, did not deserve to die. "Journalism," wrote the Swedish war correspondent Stig Dagerman, "is the art of coming too late as early as possible." The dictum resounds in Gaza, where an eight-year Israeli siege – which has left this land all but unlivable – went woefully underreported well before Gaza was is in the throes of war. As Palestinian families again count their dead, that journalistic negligence, say human rights workers, leaves much of the reporting here dangerously devoid of context. One…

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