Power of Story Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Why is the Israeli army suddenly concerned about Gaza?

By       Message Jonathan Cook       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags  Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/21/18

Author 51910
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)

From The National

From youtube.com: Gaza Crisis, Global Silence After 10 years of Israeli siege. {MID-233432}
Gaza Crisis, Global Silence After 10 years of Israeli siege.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: TheRealNews)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

More than 10 years ago Israel tightened its grip on Gaza, enforcing a blockade on goods coming in and out of the tiny coastal enclave that left much of the two million-strong population there unemployed, impoverished and hopeless.

Since then, Israel has launched three separate major military assaults that have destroyed Gaza's infrastructure, killed many thousands and left tens of thousands more homeless and traumatized.

Gaza is effectively an open-air prison, an extremely overcrowded one, with only a few hours of electricity a day and its groundwater polluted by seawater and sewage.

- Advertisement -

Last week Israeli military officials for the first time echoed what human rights groups and the United Nations have been saying for some time: that Gaza's economy and infrastructure stand on the brink of collapse.

After a decade of this horrifying experiment in human endurance, the Israeli army finally appears to be concerned about whether Gaza can continue coping much longer.

In recent days it has begun handing out forms, with more than a dozen questions, to the small number of Palestinians allowed briefly out of Gaza -- mainly business people trading with Israel, those needing emergency medical treatment and family members accompanying them.

- Advertisement -

One question asks bluntly whether they are happy, another whom they blame for their economic troubles. A statistician might wonder whether the answers can be trusted, given that the sample group is so heavily dependent on Israel's good will for their physical and financial survival.

But the survey does at least suggest that Israel's top brass may be open to new thinking, after decades of treating Palestinians only as target practice, lab rats or sheep to be herded into cities, freeing up land for Jewish settlers. Has the army finally understood that Palestinians are human beings too, with limits to the suffering they can soak up?

According to the local media, the army is in part responding to practical concerns. It is reportedly worried that, if epidemics break out, the diseases will quickly spread into Israel.

And if Gaza's economy collapses too, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians could be banging on Israel's door -- or rather storming its hi-tech incarceration fence -- to be allowed in. The army has no realistic contingency plans for either scenario.

Nonetheless, neither Israeli politicians nor Washington appear to be taking evasive action. In fact, things look set to get worse.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week there could be no improvements, no reconstruction in Gaza until Hamas agrees to give up its weapons -- the only thing, in Hamas's view, that serves as a deterrent against future Israeli attack.

- Advertisement -

Figures show Israel's policy towards Gaza has been actually growing harsher. In 2017, exit permits issued by Israel dwindled to a third of the number two years earlier -- and a hundredfold fewer than in early 2000. A few hundred Palestinian business people receive visas, stifling any chance of economic revival.

The number of trucks bringing goods into Gaza has been cut in half -- not because Israel is putting the inmates on a "diet," as it once did, but because the enclave's Palestinians lack "purchasing power." That is, they are too poor to buy Israeli goods.

Next Page  1  |  2


- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It


Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

American liberals unleashed the Trump monster

After Sy Hersh's Bombshell Investigation, Why Won't Media Tell the Real Story of Trump's Military Strike in Syria?

Mandela: a Dissenting Opinion

Tide Turns against Israel: Pariah Status and Isolation Lie Ahead

Why Gaza must suffer again -- The four guilty parties behind Israel's attack

Mr Netanyahu is king of a world of perpetual fear