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Why won't Israel allow GoPros and model airplanes into Gaza?

The Israeli military decides to shut down all postal services in the Gaza Strip in response to the attempted ‘smuggling’ of mail-order GoPro cameras, WiFi antennas, and slingshots.

A truck loaded with aid parcels provided by Turkey seen after it entered the southern Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing on July 4, 2016. (Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/FLASH90)

A truck loaded with aid parcels provided by Turkey seen after it entered the southern Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing on July 4, 2016. (Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/FLASH90)

GoPro cameras, routers, model airplanes, Wi-Fi antennas. If you’re planning on bringing these items into the Gaza Strip any time soon, you may want to reconsider. On three separate occasions in recent weeks, authorities seized goods transported into the Gaza Strip through various Israeli crossings, which they alleged were going to be used by Hamas for military purposes.

Last month, Israeli Defense Ministry inspectors at Kerem Shalom Crossing intercepted dozens of wetsuits, which according to the Defense Ministry, were “destined for terrorist elements in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas’s naval commando unit.”

Two days later authorities at Erez Crossing intercepted a slew of goods including “security cameras, 14 small UAVs, UAV components and model airplanes, binoculars, laser pointers for weapons, communications equipment and electronic boards, tasers, weapons components, diving watches equipped with flashlights, flippers, miniature cameras, GoPro cameras, DVR cameras, banned electronic components, satellite communications equipment, surveillance cameras, telephone switchboards, Wi-Fi antenna, packages of motion sensors, routers and slingshots.”

That same day Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority officials stopped an Israeli pull-trailer transporting a dismantled 4×4 pickup, which the Defense Ministry alleges was “deconstructed in a way to facilitate reassembly, even including packages of screws.”

Toy-sized drones, model airplanes, wetsuits, surveillance cameras, routers, GoPro cameras — the list of dubious goods that are not allowed into the Gaza Strip keeps getting stranger.

The mail-order ’UAV’ intercepted on its way into Gaza. (Photo from COGAT’s Arabic Facebook page)

The mail-order ’UAV’ intercepted on its way into Gaza. (Photo from COGAT’s Arabic Facebook page)

Surely one can understand Israel’s vigilance when it comes to dual-use (civilian products that could be repurposed for military use) items entering the Strip. Yet Israel has been known to restrict everything from A4 paper to cardamom to chocolate to potato chips from reaching the besieged enclave.

This is the same Israel military regime that at one point made precise calculations of Gaza’s daily caloric intake to avoid malnutrition (when Israel limited commercial shipments of food into Gaza in 2006, senior government adviser Dov Weisglass explained that “the idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet but not to make them die of hunger.”)

In response to the “smuggling attempts” of mail-order GoPros and slingshots, the Israel military decided to shut down postal service for the entire Gaza Strip. But Gaza’s not occupied anymore.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Lewis from Afula

      This is excellent news. Gaza should be maintained under embargo conditions until the following conditions are agreed upon:
      1. Unconditional Surrender of all Militants (Whether Isis, Hamas, Jihadi, PLO) to Israel.
      2. Israel recognized Unconditionally.
      3. Agreement to pay financial compensation to Israeli casulties and fatalities for all wars since 1948.

      No Justice = No Peace = Continued Embargo on Gaza

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        The picture of the black-shirted, skin-head fascist Education Minister at the top of this page is what comes to mind here:
        Minister Naftali Bennett, you are killing Zionism
        http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.731346

        “…Does that mean that Zionism is racism? Under the complex circumstances of [yesterday] no. But today – yes. From the perspective of 2016, Israel is the birthplace of the Israeli people. The Israeli people is made up of Jews, Muslims and Christians, Druze and Circassians, Sudanese and Eritreans. It is made up of the people living in this country under Israeli rule, without reference to religion, race or gender. That is the only formula to preserve Israeli democracy. The buses with Birthright groups should be sent back to where they came from. The young people, touring the ancestral land promised them by God like effendis, have lost their rights here. And yes, the Law of Return, the apple of Ben-Gurion’s eye, should be abolished. It was good in 1948, but in 2016 it is one of the foundations of creeping fascism that is taking over the country. This folly should end.”

        Reply to Comment
      • Ray

        Then I hope you enjoy perpetual conflict. Have fun!

        Reply to Comment
    2. Waheed

      The Israel Palestine conflict is going to end badly for Israel. We suffered similarly in apartheid south Africa but in the end the white minority had to give up its dream of a state that would last a 1000 years. Israel will be dismantled and something much more refined and human will replace it. A place where all religions will exist as equals.

      Reply to Comment