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

Some things that you may not know if you read only biased news publishers: - Israel provides food, fuel, water and allow the entrance of medication and other goods but the distribution is in the hands of Hammas and they distribute it as it pleases them; - common decency ? huum? - The missiles fired against Israeli territories that killed, injured, left limbless and traumatized thousands are not home made anymore but of Iranian origin; - how would you like that in your backyard? every day... - Many (many more than you may think) of the deaths in the Gaza strip are caused either by Hammas shooting their enemies (Palestinian authority soldiers, Fatah members)or by "accidents" that happen during the preparation of explosives (the terrorists do their work inside buildings where innocent families live) - so much for cynicism and human decency ha? - Egyptians do not open their border to Palestinian free transit. Why is that? Because it will ruin the "cleaning" they did many years ago to get rid of terrorists. And they did not arrest them, they killed them, in case my expression "cleaning" wasn't clear enough. The same thing King Hussein did in Jordan many ears ago. - Geneva convention also mentions something about kidnapping, hostages but we can't expect a terrorist Hammas government to follow the Geneva convention right? - The Palestinians receive millions of dollars every year from many countries, Israel included. Enough money to build schools and hospitals and help them build their country but the money is stollen by their leaders as it has been since Yassef Arafat. Part of the money has also been wisely invested in terrorism. But hey, Hammas government was democratically ellected right? So who are we to judge?

Anonymous

Some things that you may not know if you read only biased news publishers: - Israel provides food, fuel, water and allow the entrance of medication and other goods but the distribution is in the hands of Hammas and they distribute it as it pleases them; - common decency ? huum? - The missiles fired against Israeli territories that killed, injured, left limbless and traumatized thousands are not home made anymore but of Iranian origin; - how would you like that in your backyard? every day... - Many (many more than you may think) of the deaths in the Gaza strip are caused either by Hammas shooting their enemies (Palestinian authority soldiers, Fatah members)or by "accidents" that happen during the preparation of explosives (the terrorists do their work inside buildings where innocent families live) - so much for cynicism and human decency ha? - Egyptians do not open their border to Palestinian free transit. Why is that? Because it will ruin the "cleaning" they did many years ago to get rid of terrorists. And they did not arrest them, they killed them, in case my expression "cleaning" wasn't clear enough. The same thing King Hussein did in Jordan many ears ago. - Geneva convention also mentions something about kidnapping, hostages but we can't expect a terrorist Hammas government to follow the Geneva convention right? - The Palestinians receive millions of dollars every year from many countries, Israel included. Enough money to build schools and hospitals and help them build their country but the money is stollen by their leaders as it has been since Yassef Arafat. Part of the money has also been wisely invested in terrorism. But hey, Hammas government was democratically ellected right? So who are we to judge?

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