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June 28, 2017

NBC's Blinders on Egyptian Blockade

In an article about Hamas banning dog-walking in the Gaza Strip, NBC News believes it's important for readers to know that Israel blockades the Gaza Strip. On the other hand, NBC would prefer that readers not know that Egypt also blockades the Gaza Strip, even though the Egyptian blockade is much more restrictive than the Israeli blockade by any measure ("Hamas bans dog-walking in the Gaza Strip").

The article, a collaborative effort by NBC's Wajjeh Abu Zarifa , Dave Copeland , Lawahez Jabari and F. Brinley Bruton reported:

Hamas — the militant group that runs the poor, Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip — recently decreed dogs can’t be walked in markets, roads and along beaches.

nbc Israel blockade.jpg

Israel allows in virtually all products aside from weapons and items defined as dual-use items (ie can be used for military purposes), a fact confirmed by the Israeli NGO Gisha, which is highly critical of Israel's policies with respect to Gaza. Both goods and people can much more easily pass through the Israeli blockade of Gaza than through the strict Egyptian blockade.

That Egypt's blockade, ignored by NBC, is significantly more restrictive than the Israeli blockade (which NBC singled out), is confirmed by recent UN data. The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that this past May, for example, (the most recent UN data available), the Israeli crossing for people (Erez Crossing), was open for 25 days, enabling 6,328 times in which people crossed from Gaza to Israel. In contrast, the Egyptian crossing for people (Rafah Crossing), was open for just four days, enabling just 3,068 times in which people crossed in either direction (Egypt to Gaza and the reverse). (Graphic below from OCHA's report.)

nbc ocha people crossing May.jpg

More than 200 trucks exited Gaza into Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing over the course of 17 days in May. Zero trucks exit Gaza for Egypt.

As for the entry of goods into Gaza, the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel operated for 19 days in May, enabling over 10,000 trucks carrying goods to enter from Israel. In contrast, Egypt's "Rafah crossing exceptionally opened on four days, allowing 381 truckloads of goods to enter Gaza, the largest volume through this crossing since June 2015."

In 2015 Reuters, which had likewise initially ignored the Egyptian-blockade in a graphic entitled "Gaza blockade," commendably added the information when the omission was pointed out.

CAMERA has contacted NBC to request that they likewise amend their report to include the more severe Egyptian blockade. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at June 28, 2017 03:29 AM


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