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View Diary: Israel Launches 'Palestinian-Only' Bus Lines (152 comments)

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  •  But according to Muhammad Dahlan... (0+ / 0-)

    ...a former Palestinian security commander:

    Dahlan said that the tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt were a source of income for Hamas leaders who have no interest in closing them down.

    The Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip do not benefit from the tunnels, Dahlan added. He called on the Egyptians to hold Hamas and its leaders, and not the entire Palestinian people, fully responsible for harboring terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and threatening Egypt’s national security.

    Dahlan said that the Gaza Strip was not under siege and its residents were not lacking anything. “Hamas is laying siege to the Gaza Strip,” he charged.

    Dahlan said that a pro-Hamas Sudanese minister who visited Gaza recently told him that he wished that Sudan had as much basic goods as the Strip.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 07:43:01 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The tunnels do not and cannot supply (4+ / 0-)

      all the needs of the Gazans. And right now, the Egyptians are busy flooding them so that they cannot be used. Dahlan is not only wrong, he is epically wrong. He has a political axe to grind re Hamas (being a Fatah member and someone intimately involved in the coup that prevented Hamas from coming to power after they one the elections) and he is also wrong about the facts. See these articles below for more:

      B'tselem on the medical system in Gaza

      UNHCR on  malnutrition in Gaza

      FAO on effects of seige and war on agricultural sector

      Guradian: Israel used 'calorie count' to limit Gaza food during blockade

      Juan Cole's Israel's strangulation by the numbers

      Not everything you read in JPost is accurate.

      •  arrgghhh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Celtic Merlin, Diane Gee, poco

        'won the elections'!!!!

      •  How about this guy's assessment? (0+ / 0-)
        Journalist Ashraf Abu Al-Houl wrote in Al-Ahram: "I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable... and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change. I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade – but the opposite was the case; it seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade.

        "A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza's coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me. Merchandise is sold more cheaply than in Egypt, although most of it is from the Egyptian market, and there are added shipping costs and costs for smuggling it via the tunnels – so that it could be expected to be more expensive.

        "Before I judge by appearances, which can be misleading... [I would like to point out that] I toured the new resorts, most of which are quite grand, as well as the commercial markets, to verify my hypothesis. The resorts and markets have come to symbolize prosperity, and prove that the siege is formal or political, not economic. The reality [in Gaza] proves that the siege was broken even before Israel's crime against the ships of the Freedom Flotilla in late May; everything already was coming into the Gaza Strip from Egypt. If this weren't the case, businessmen would not have been able to build so many resorts in under four months."

        I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

        by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 08:55:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and since Ashraf Abu Al-Houl's visit... (0+ / 0-)

          here's a link to all of the shipments from Israel during the "seige":

          Note that even during the rocket attacks Israel was shipping material per instructions from the Gazans - "A wide variety of commodities - including spices, cakes and candies, toys, cosmetic products, housewares and other items according to the demands of the vendors and the customers"

          I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

          by Hey338Too on Sun Mar 03, 2013 at 09:07:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Once again (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco

            most Gazans do not have the money or the income to pay for these goods. Just because some goods get smuggled in by tunnels and are available in one shop or several does not mean the supply is sufficient for the demand. Now please go and read the links I provided to you and get your facts straight, rather than your anecdotes. When you realize just how large a percentage of refugees there are in Gaza and just how the unemployment rate is, you might actually begin to grasp the scale of this Israeli-made tragedy and stop trying to defend a policy that has left 10% of Gazan children's growth stunted.

            •  So in Gaza the basic law of supply and demand... (0+ / 0-)

              ... is suspended?  Business is business, if there isn't demand there will not be supply.  No one orders and pays for products to have them sit, or worse, to spoil.  There are tons and tons of goods coming from from Egypt AND Israel.  That does not sound like a siege by any definition.  It appears that there is wealth and money to be made in Gaza, how that wealth and money is distributed is not Israel's fault.

              I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

              by Hey338Too on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 09:49:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I checked out the link you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Diane Gee, Flyswatterbanjo, poco

            supplied and even they admit that there was a point in the seige where supplies were much more restricted than they are now. Not that they are generous now by any means. But if you go back to diaries here at around the time of the last Israeli attack on Gaza, you'll find a lot of talk here about 'terrorist crayons' and 'terrorist lentils' since those were basic items that the UN could not get into Gaza at the time. And while the Jewish Virtual Library bills the shipments as 'Israeli Humantarian Aid' it's actually the UNRWA and other aid organisations who actually supply it and have the frustration of coordinating it with the Israeli authorities.

            And despite what your link says abut the recent increases in goods supplied, Gazans are still chronically short of medical and educational supplies as well as many other goods. There are still issues with electricity and sewage. Additionally, for years, Gazans were not allowed to export anything and only just recently were some shipments of strawberries allowed to go to Europe.

            The point is that the economic devolution imposed on Gaza and the West Bank has been documented in innumerable World Bank, IMF, EU and reports by many NGOs. The fact that this situation exists, that Palestinians have their right to work and earn their living made difficult to impossible by Israel is a mark of shame for Israel. Just imagine if this was being done to Jews.

        •  Sigh (4+ / 0-)

          once again, you provide anecdotes, not data. I worked for an international organisation many years ago where part of my job was to travel to developing countries. In the many poor countries I went to, there were elites who were wealthy and lived extremely well while the rest of the population did not. If you go to the links I provide by the FAO, WHO and UNHCR, what  you will find is the conditions lived in by the majority of Gazans.

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