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May 20, 2015

Can AFP say "Egyptian blockade"?

afp egyptian blockade.JPG

Can the Agence France Presse news agency say "Egyptian blockade"? In the article today, "Gazans reach beyond blockade through start-up," the "Israeli blockade" of the Gaza Strip looms large.

Though the article twice mentions the "Israeli blockade" of Gaza, under which hundreds of trucks containing all kinds of products pass every week, not once does it contain the phrase "Egyptian blockade," though for most of the last seven months nothing at all passed through the Gaza-Egypt border crossing.

Thus, the second paragraph of the article states that the Gaza Strip "has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006." Further along, the article asserts that Gaza "is effectively ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement and cut off from the rest of the world by the Israeli blockade." The article adds:

Programmer Mohammed al-Banna, 27, says working in technology offered him a sense of freedom because it is the 'the only area' where Israel cannot cut Gazans off from the outside world.

Of the sweeping Egyptian blockade, the AFP says only half-way into the story:

Until last year, Palestinians were able to leave the Rafah crossing with Egypt, but since October the frontier has been closed as Cairo struggles with a growing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

Why, then, doesn't the second paragraph note that the Gaza Strip "is under an Egyptian and Israeli blockade"? Why doesn't it later report that the territory is "cut off from the rest of the world by the Egyptian and the Israeli blockade"?

Clearly, the total Egyptian blockade has isolated the Gaza Strip far more than the Israeli blockade, under which goods and people do cross. The Egyptian blockade, therefore, should figure much more prominently in the story than the so-called Israeli blockade.

Under "the Israeli blockade," during the week of May 5 to 11, 1,704 trucks entered the Gaza Strip through Israel, of which 854 contained construction materials, reports the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Of the Egyptian blockade of Gaza, the same OCHA reports states:

The Rafah crossing was closed in both directions by the Egyptian authorities during the week. The crossing has been continuously closed since 24 October 2014, following an attack in Sinai, except for 12 days, on which it was partially opened. This measure is affecting at least 30,000 people registered for crossing to the both sides.

No people crossed between Egypt and Gaza during the reporting period.

Finally, in another striking double standard, AFP provides a reason for the Egyptian closing of the border ("Cairo struggles with a growing insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula"), but gives no reason for the relatively limited Israeli restrictions. In the interest of consistency, shouldn't AFP note that Jerusalem struggles with thousands upon thousands of rockets fired at it from a territory from which it withdrew in 2005 and which is now ruled by a designated terror organization whose charter seeks the Jewish state's destruction?

Posted by TS at May 20, 2015 06:12 AM


Israel can easily end all contact with the outside world - including the internet.

It proves that Israel has no desire close off Gaza

Posted by: gee59 at May 24, 2015 06:24 PM

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