Israel shut down Gaza’s ability to conduct trade because of flaming balloons and kites that Palestinians have been floating over the border. There is no security justification, just collective punishment.
Israeli authorities often claim that the siege on Gaza is about security. Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups must not be allowed to import weapons or materials to build weapons, they say. It is a necessary measure. It’s about security.
That is partly true, sometimes. That is, except when it’s not.
The Israeli political leadership announced this week that it is cshutting down Gaza’s only commercial connection to the outside world. Not that the people of Gaza were allowed to do much trade with anyone before the crossing was closed, but now Israel took away the little commerce it had allowed until now.
Surely there is a good reason. A security reason.
Perhaps Israel received solid intelligence that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps was trying to sneak advanced weaponry into Gaza in a shipment of medical supplies? Or maybe the Shin Bet discovered a plot to place explosives in a furniture shipment destined for the West Bank?
Either of those scenarios would have been a legitimate reason to temporarily halt commercial activity at the Israeli controlled crossing so that shipments could be more closely inspected and to mitigate the threat. That’s not what happened.