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Books, Chocolate, Crayons and Shampoo are among the dangerous “weapons” forbidden in Gaza by Israel

5 June, 2010

Each time Israel hijacks another ship in International waters, it claims that it is protecting its citizens from attacks by Hamas.  It also claims that sufficient aid is allowed into Gaza once Israel inspects the cargo.  However, no one ever talks about the massive embargo of food, water, energy, clothing, toys etc.  I mentioned this briefly in my previous post, but today I found an article  here on the BBC which provides a list of embargoed materials.  Take a look and then tell me how a child can kill with a toy; or a mother with enough food to feed her family.

The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees Unrwa’s list of household items that have been refused entry at various times includes light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, pasta, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts, shampoo and conditioner.

Reminds me of Madmartigan’s cry for help  in the movie Willow “a peck if pointing an acorn at me.”

Seriously people, read the article.  This is not about politics; this is about human beings living in hideous conditions, conditions not caused by earthquake as in Haiti, or a disease epidemic, but by one country denying access to material needed for feeding, clothing, educating and caring for civilians trapped in their own land, civilians who do not pick up a weapon, who bear no responsibility for the rocket attacks.   Does anyone seriously believe that if a few Israeli citizens shoot or beat Palestinians from the hillsides of their settlements that Israel should be sanctioned for their actions?  No, of course not.    Is a clean and healthy Gazan a threat to Israel?  Maybe Israel believes they are, but can the rest of the world stand by while Israel slowly starves its enemies to death?  I can not even bear to think that I live in a world that can answer with a resounding “Yes.”

Here are some of the observations in the  article:

But the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation says 61% of Gazans are “food insecure”.

According to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Unrwa, 80% of Gazan households rely on some kind of food aid.

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Unrwa says the number of Gazan that it helps who are unable to buy basic items such as soap, stationary and safe drinking water has tripled since 2007.

Perhaps, the Israel  believes that “the pen is mightier than the sword” and that is why stationary is scarce.

The report continues.

The amount of cooking gas allowed in has generally fluctuated between about a third and a half of requirements, Oxfam figures show.

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The UN’s FAO says $180m of trees, fields, livestock, greenhouses and nurseries were destroyed during operation Cast Lead. The Palestinian Authority estimates 15% of agricultural land was destroyed.

The FAO says the closed borders are a major obstacle to reconstruction, with fertilizer, livestock, seedlings and agricultural equipment in short supply.

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The UN says restrictions on cement have made the reconstruction of 12,000 Palestinian homes damaged or destroyed in Israeli military operations “impossible”.

It says it has not been able to build schools to house 15,000 new pupils, necessary because of population growth since the blockade began.

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The World Health Organization says the blockade has lead to a general “worsening of the health conditions of the population” and “accelerated the degeneration” of the health system.

Can you still defend a blockade at sea or on land of such essentials?


PDF Alert

The BBC compiled a list of items allowed to be brought into Gaza by commercial entities, but since most Gazans have no money there is little opportunity for them to buy these items.  As the introduction states, humanitarian organizations may only bring in items that are approved on a case by case basis.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 June, 2010 21:15

    The problem is not Israel! The problem is Hamas! Hamas is creating all these problems for the people in Gaza by more than 10.000 rockets and terror attacks in Israel. How do you expect Israel to respond? How would you respond if rockets were threating to kill your children?

    The solution is to free Gaza from Hamas!

    (and btw. Israel transfers 15.000 tons of supplies and humanitarian aid every week to the people of Gaza!)

    • 6 June, 2010 21:15

      You are not responding to my post but are making a political statement instead. How do books and crayons present a danger to Israel? Why is shampoo allowed to be sold in Gaza but not distributed by humanitarian aid groups? Why does Israel feel the need to limit the amount of electricity and water in Gaza?

      And since you raise the question not asked in my post, I will answer. Tell me how many Jewish children died from rocket attacks by Hamas during the last 10 years and how many children in Gaza died because of Israel’s response? Would you consider the response proportionate?

      I would protect my children if they were under violent attack but not by killing whole generations of other children.

  2. 6 June, 2010 21:15

    Your post is also a political statement. You have to understand that Israel is in war with Hamas. Israel wants peace with the Palestinians – Hamas does not. It is natural for Israel to apply certain restrictions on the supplies to a region which is governed by a terrorist organization. The important fact is that Israel does supply aid! – Would Israel do that if, as you claim, it only wants the Palestinians to starve?

    I do not say the situation is good. What I say is that the solution is to help the Palestinians to free them self from Hamas. What is your solution?

    You may find this video informative http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tOdW0qEy4g

    • 7 June, 2010 21:15

      Again you have ignored my response to make your political statement. How do depriving people of chocolate and crayons help Israel win the “war.” Do you think to drive the people of Gaza into such desperation that they will turn out Hamas? Are you willing to allow the children to live with minimal essentials their entire lives so that you can win a war.

      In any case, Israel always says it will allow supplies in, but the banned list makes it clear they are preventing comforts from getting through, limiting food supplies to the barest of essentials and closing all entry into Gaza. How much would they have let the Gazans have if they wouldn’t even let the activists take their passports and clothes home?

      Address the issue in the next comment or I will remove it.

  3. bob permalink
    18 June, 2010 21:15

    what does this have to do with using toys to kill people?

    • 19 June, 2010 21:15

      Toys are among the banned items. Why? Does Israel seek to punish the children or ensure that no Israeli gets hurt? Can you provide an answer?

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