Christian Aid Joins Condemnation of Israel's Blockade of Gaza [Excerpts]
The breach of the border between Gaza and Egypt demonstrates the desperation of a people held hostage to both a policy of collective punishment and an inadequate peace process, Christian Aid said yesterday.
Christian Aid said it condemned 'in the strongest possible terms' Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. They point out that it did not begin last week as commonly thought, but has been going on since June 2007.
Israel’s decision to allow in limited shipments of fuel and basic humanitarian supplies will not ease the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the agency says.
"Since Hamas took power last June, Gaza has been subjected to severe restrictions on movement that have allowed in only a drip-feed of aid, preventing a full-scale humanitarian emergency but keeping the population in a perpetual state of economic crisis," said Janet Symes, Christian Aid’s Head of Middle East Programme.
The European Union has criticised Israel’s ‘collective punishment’ of Gaza's 1.5 million residents, while the United Nations has warned it could be forced to stop distributing food to hundreds of thousands of people unless Israel opened the crossings to allow in supplies.
In November 2007, Christian Aid and 40 other international, Israeli and Palestinian NGOs called for an end to the isolation of Gaza in the interests of ending the escalating crisis.
In addition to condemning the illegal policy of collective punishment, they said: "Isolating Gaza has not stopped Palestinian rocket attacks into Israel and the entire population of Gaza remains vulnerable to continuing Israeli military attacks. All civilians, Israeli and Palestinian, must be protected under international law."
[TBC: The hypocrisy of Christian Aid (a very liberal group), The European Union, and the UN is manifestly evident. The barrier the inhabitants of Gaza broke down was the barrier between Egypt and Gaza. Arabs erected a fence to keep Arabs in Gaza out. One should naturally ask "why?" Egypt could have long been serving as a channel for food, medicine, and other supplies. They haven’t, and yet much of the world insists that Israel not only endure the mortars, rockets, and missiles (which the article acknowledges), but feed those who fire the same.]