Collectively Punished

Israeli blockade leaves the Gaza Strip in the dark.

Much of the Gaza Strip is in darkness tonight as Israel continues to block shipments of industrial diesel fuel into the besieged territory. Israel began the blockade last week, in retaliation to Palestinian rockets fired from within Gaza. In a statement issued today, the Israeli Defense Ministry claims that despite the blockade, Gaza is receiving enough power from Israeli and Egyptian grids to operate at 75 percent capacity.

Within Gaza, however, the story is different. Most of the strip has been hit with “a total power blackout,” according to Sameh Habeeb, a photojournalist and peace activist living in Gaza. He adds that Israel has also announced a comprehensive closing of already-blocked borders, making any delivery of fuel to Gaza’s sole power plant impossible.

Habeeb describes the collective mood within the territory as “an amalgamation of fear, sadness and frustration.” He goes on to say that within Gaza, “no one is allowed to move or travel. We are always awaiting another bad day.” Despite efforts by the Free Gaza Movement with the cooperation of the Popular Committee Against Siege (PCAS), an international committee of activists and politicians that has been sending siege-breaking boats into the territories, Israel has refused to end its policy of collective punishment. It was only at the behest of Tony Blair, former British prime minister and present envoy of the Middle East Quartet, that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak agreed to allow for a “limited resumption” of supplies into Gaza. Article 33 of the Geneva Convention explicitly forbids collective punishment, yet Gaza’s 1.5 million citizens are in darkness, paralyzed with fear at this very moment. When is the world going to organize in support of the millions of innocent Palestinians held captive by Israeli policy? When are Americans going to demand that our government stop bowing to lobbies, and revoke Israel’s carte blanche in the Middle East?

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34 comments on the article “Collectively Punished”

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Anonymous

These rocket fire-ers KNOW israel will react violently and possibly kill innocent palestinians. What is their motivation then? Possibly to coax israel into commiting more injustices in retaliation and get bad publicity? What do they really expect is going to happen when they fire rockets at a country that is known for violent retaliations?

Anonymous

These rocket fire-ers KNOW israel will react violently and possibly kill innocent palestinians. What is their motivation then? Possibly to coax israel into commiting more injustices in retaliation and get bad publicity? What do they really expect is going to happen when they fire rockets at a country that is known for violent retaliations?

Outsider

The latest round of rocket-firing was a response, not an attack. The day before, the Israeli IDF has entered Gaza and killed 6 people during a raid to knock out a tunnel. What is the other option? To sit there as Israeli tanks and killer squads operate on their soil?

Outsider

The latest round of rocket-firing was a response, not an attack. The day before, the Israeli IDF has entered Gaza and killed 6 people during a raid to knock out a tunnel. What is the other option? To sit there as Israeli tanks and killer squads operate on their soil?

Syouth

The raid on the tunnel in Gaza was in order to thwart a trrorist plan to kidnap more Israeli Soldiers. Besides, the Palestinians fired more than 20 Rockets over Israel when the agreement of temporary ceasefire was still on. Israel didn't react those violations military untill now. The Palestinians are welcoming this blockade, as they can't honor any agreement they sign.

Syouth

The raid on the tunnel in Gaza was in order to thwart a trrorist plan to kidnap more Israeli Soldiers. Besides, the Palestinians fired more than 20 Rockets over Israel when the agreement of temporary ceasefire was still on. Israel didn't react those violations military untill now. The Palestinians are welcoming this blockade, as they can't honor any agreement they sign.

Anonymous

Just take a look how it's like to have missiles in the middle of your home town. (Ashkelon, Israel, 14.11.2008): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcrdP3OEMnE What can you possibly say after you see this?

Anonymous

Just take a look how it's like to have missiles in the middle of your home town. (Ashkelon, Israel, 14.11.2008): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcrdP3OEMnE What can you possibly say after you see this?

Anonymous

What about not having a home? Having your home bull-dozed by someone actively destroying your home? Not being able to go to work? Grow your own food? This has focused on electricity, but what about the 750,000 Palestinians that are being denied food via the Israeli blockade, when it's the UN that's trying to feed them? Or how about the announcement that a full scale Israeli attack on Gaza only matter of time? I know that other people have talked about this before, and I don't mean to expand the topic too far beyond the article, I only wrote that to emphasize that it's an important issue. And talking about one facet of it, is a gateway to discussion about the rest. 30,000 children die a day, yes... Many die from neglect, many die from starvation, from disease, and the wrongs of US multinational corporations or the WTO, NAFTA, World Bank, IMF.. But this, this, is US Government sponsored violence, intimidation, discrimination, terrorism (though I shun the word). I think we need to abolish our blatant violations of common decency, and human rights first, before we can work on our other (thinly) veiled wrong-doings.

Anonymous

What about not having a home? Having your home bull-dozed by someone actively destroying your home? Not being able to go to work? Grow your own food? This has focused on electricity, but what about the 750,000 Palestinians that are being denied food via the Israeli blockade, when it's the UN that's trying to feed them? Or how about the announcement that a full scale Israeli attack on Gaza only matter of time? I know that other people have talked about this before, and I don't mean to expand the topic too far beyond the article, I only wrote that to emphasize that it's an important issue. And talking about one facet of it, is a gateway to discussion about the rest. 30,000 children die a day, yes... Many die from neglect, many die from starvation, from disease, and the wrongs of US multinational corporations or the WTO, NAFTA, World Bank, IMF.. But this, this, is US Government sponsored violence, intimidation, discrimination, terrorism (though I shun the word). I think we need to abolish our blatant violations of common decency, and human rights first, before we can work on our other (thinly) veiled wrong-doings.

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