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2 December 2012 Edition

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End Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza

While the blockade continues, the violence against the people of Gaza continues. After the bombing and shelling, the violence is now under the radar.

ISRAEL has repeatedly said that it never targets civilians but when your warplanes are bombing and warships shelling an area that is 360km and has a population of over 1.65million, civilians are always going to be casualties.

Even before this latest onslaught, the people of Gaza were struggling against massive socio-economic problems due to Israel’s illegal blockade of the region. The blockade, now in place for more five years, has destroyed Gaza’s economy. According to the UN, 80% of the population of Gaza are dependent on humanitarian aid and more than 40% of the population are unemployed.

The blockade continues to restrict the importation of construction materials, which has ensured that hospitals, homes and the water treatment plant destroyed during the Israeli bombardment of the region in 2008-2009 have never been rebuilt.

In fact, the water situation is one of the biggest crises facing Gaza. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 90% of Gaza’s water is unfit for human consumption and 80million cubic litres of sewage continues to be pumped out into the Mediterranean every single day untreated.

With the general elections in Israel only two months away (22 January 2013) and the Palestinian authorities going ahead with their plan to seek non-member observer status of of the UN as An Phoblacht hits the streets on 29 November, the latest attacks on Gaza cannot be seen to be without political motives. Documents that were leaked to the Associated Press on Wednesday 14 November show that Israeli diplomats gave foreign leaders notice that Israel will consider its historic peace accords with the Palestinians null and void if they ask the United Nations for a state.

The EU and the US have been too slow, or non-existent, in applying the pressure that was called for back in 2008 to resolve this situation. The EU continues to give Israel preferential treatment to European markets and refuses to ban the importation of products from the illegal Israeli settlements. This is despite Israel’s continued breaking of international law in Gaza and the West Bank. The EU’s preferential treatment rewards Israel for its continued illegal and lethal actions, rather than stopping them.

Israeli warships and warplanes may not be raining bombs and shells down on the people of Gaza but the regime is still slowly but surely, every day, economically and socially killing the people of Gaza with its illegal blockade.

The ceasefire gives the people of Gaza a breathing space; it also gives the previously lethargic international community another opportunity to end the blockade.

While the blockade continues, the violence against the people of Gaza continues. After the bombing and shelling, the violence is now under the radar.

See our interview with the UNRWA Chief of the Field Health Programme in Gaza, Dr Mohammad El Maqadma

See more pictures » 

Gaza solidarity by hundreds in Belfast 

Belfast calls for end to Zionist genocide

Dublin protesters call for an end to the siege of Gaza

Gaza support in Derry

Clashes at Palestine demo outside Israeli embassy in Dublin

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