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August 08, 2011

Facts Blockaded in Washington Times Gaza Story

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The Washington Times article “Post-blockade economy mixed” (July 14) distorts Israel’s humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip and removes responsibility from the Palestinian Arabs.

Associated Press reporter Ibrhaim Barzak writes that “…there are no longer acute shortages of foods or basic household items.” There never were such “acute shortages.” Since Israel and Egypt started the blockade in 2007, Israel regularly has transferred food and humanitarian supplies into the Strip. For example, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, between June 16, 2007 and Sept. 22, 2008 — before the May 2010 raid on the first anti-blockade flotilla referred to by The Washington Times — Israel permitted 35,542 trucks carrying 813,870 tons of food, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.

The AP dispatch never mentions Palestinian responsibility for the Israeli blockade. But this responsibility includes more than 11,000 mortars and rockets fired from Gaza by the ruling Hamas movement and other terrorist organizations at Israel after the latter’s unilateral withdrawal in 2005.

The article also notes that “there are restrictions on exports, along with entry of raw materials” but it does not tell readers why. Cement, iron and piping have been used by Hamas to build fortified positions, including underground bunkers, and rockets. However, since the first flotilla, monitored imports of truckloads of cement, iron, and other building supplies are regularly coordinated with international parties.

Gaza suffers because Hamas and its terrorist allies continue to threaten Israel’s security. The Washington Times/AP report missed the story’s central point. — by Sophie Linshitz, CAMERA Washington research intern.

Posted by ER at August 8, 2011 11:17 AM

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