Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bread runs out in face of Israeli closure

Walking around Gaza today, one would have thought there was a war looming (well, I guess we are in a perpetual state of low-intensity war, but still). Most bakeries throughout the city were closed by mid-afternoon, with the only remaining ones jam-packed with customers, lines extending out to the streets till late at night.



The reason: flour stocks have officially run out in Gaza due to a 44-day and going-strong Israeli-imposed closure of the only commerical crossing for goods and humanitarian supplies. Palestinians in Gaza consume around 350 tons of flour per day, but all flour mills have shut down due to the depletion of wheat stocks, and bakeries are working through their last bags of stored flour. As word of the shortage spread, residents flocked to bakeries-in many cases bringing their own bags of flour with them.



In one bakery I went to, the scene was one of panic and fear, with Israeli war jets roaring overhead and men lining up for hours, children taking the place sometimes. At one point, two men's nerves snapped and a fight nearly broke out on whose turn it was. A group of armed men immediately came in to break it up (interestingly, a cigarette smoking police officer walked casually on by, despite my pleas to get him to intervene).



Bags of bread were rationed-two per family-to make sure there was enough for all, as the final truckload of stored flour was delivered to the bakery.



Palestinian Minister of Economy Mazen Sanakrot on Saturday warned of a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip if the situation of the border was not resolved.



Yousuf carrying our "ration" of bread home from the bakery.


51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just when you think it can't get any worse, it just did!! Bread is a necessary staple in an arab's life, as necessary as the olive trees that have been bulldozed by the Israeli's.

There is no doubt about it Laila, they are trying to starve the Palestinians.

You take care of yourself & your family. My heart & prayers are with you all.

from,
A Palestinian from the US

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your son is so cute.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

I guess this is Dubi's 'diet'.. and another war crime.

1:22 AM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

http://fcit.usf.edu/HOLOCAUST/activity/35plan/starvati.htm

1:26 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon, and lail, why arent the Palestinians utilyzing the Rafiah crossing (which even you stated that you were so proud of) to go into Egypt and get grain and/or import grain via Egypt?

Also, anon, think about the logic that you're using. If the Israeli government and Army is so evil and looking for a way to commit mass genocide via starvation, why use that method? It's very slow. Wouldn't it be a lot easier for those big war planes flying over head to just drop a few bombs and wipe Gaza off the map? Do you really think the Army, with all their sophisticated weaponry, if they were looking to get ride of some-one or a whole sector of people, would need slow or extra excuses. Your logic follows and is just as scewed as those that believe that Israeli soldiers use candy to lure Palestinian children out of their houses to kill them. If the Israeli soldiers wanted to kill them, they don't need extra excuses. They'd just go in every house and kill the kids one by one, wouldn't they?
-OC

1:47 AM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi Shameless One,

"Also, anon, think about the logic that you're using. If the Israeli government and Army is so evil and looking for a way to commit mass genocide via starvation, why use that method?"

Basically, you have written the answer:

"It's very slow."


Like the creep-creep of colinization by 'changing realities on the ground', so the Naziesque Israeli starving of the Palestinians continues, and you're a party to it.

Shame on you

Regs, Shaggy

2:43 AM  
Blogger umkahlil said...

Laila, I was so sad reading this, in tears, but when I got to the end and saw that ol' Yousuf peering up, I am still smiling and laughing...

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salaam!

My thoughts and prayers are with you, from one Muslim to another. Be patient and put your trust in Allah!

Peace

8:48 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Olah: regarding Rafah Crossing, we've been over this before somewhere in the comments section. Simply put, goods-including flour-are not imported through there because Israel does not allow it. According to the access and movement agreement signed in November, Rafah may only be used to export in limited quantities, because Israel wants to inspect everything (and you may ask-what's preventing them from doing so? the crossing is not equipped to handle massive cargo imports, neither will Israel allow it, threatening a Jericho-type seige and shutdown of the crossing if the PA does decide to import things. Nevertheless, limited quanities of goods are "smuggled" in by individuals like a bag of flour here and there, or cartons of foodstuffs by what we call "tujjar shanta"-female "suitcase" merchants that sell off the street and from small shops. but none enough for 1.5 million people). Think: major port to feed an entire peoples, not a few families. Israel is insisting instead on making Kerem Shalom (further south) the main import/export hub, but no agreement has been reached yet. Allowing imports through Kerem Shalom would create the same problem for Palestinians as the current setup at Karni/Al-Mintar: it would be subjected to Israeli control and closure at will. instead, the US recommended that BOTH crossing be open in parallel at the same time. Besides, neither crossing (kerem shalom or Rafah) is set up properly for cargo and goods as al-Mintar/Karni currently is, and would only allow in limited amount of goods (for example, Kerem Shalom right now would only be able to handle 4 trucks, as opposed to 160 that are supposed to come through al-Mintar/Karni).
finally, small but significant detail: the onus is on Israel, as an occupying power, to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip, according to the Geneva Convention. Even though there are no troops of civlian population inside Gaza, Israel is still considered an occupying power, and itself says as much. Thus, it bears the responsiblity.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

Laila,
wait you are telling me that you can't use the Raffah Crrosing because of a deal with Israel?? since when does your Govt. care about those silly things??
If your Govt. Cared about you they would have found a way to Transfer goods into Gaza without having to depend on Israel, a sittuation that would be better off for you in Gaza anyways. But instead your Govt. is looking for new and better ways to Kill Israelies, and is using you and your people as pupets to show how bad Israel is. Isn't it time your Govt. that you Elected takes responsibility, even if it is the form of (g-d Forbid) talking to Israel??
I don't expect the Israeli govt. to take care of you, and niether should you. Using the Excuse that you are still occupied is, just as I said, an Excuse. If your people really wanted to you could solve this problem in a very short time. If your people would work half as hard on suppling you with food as they do trying to smuggle guns into gaza, you could all have had enough food to last you a life time.
It is time you and your Friends in Gaza got up and screamed out to your Govt. to take charge and care about their own people. If you don't do it your self no one will do it for you.
I would like nothing more than to see a Wealthy, Healthy Gaza - that is not depending on Israel to survive. It will reduce the power that both our Govt. have and reduce the amount of excuses made on both sides.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assalamu alaikum sister

It is truly wonderful to hear from a Palestinian lady on such important issues from Palestine itself. May Allah reward you for your efforts.

I read on BBC that a Palestinian newspaper, Al-Ayyam, The Israeli Defence Minister, Mofaz, actually admitted that there was coordination between Britain and Israel regarding the jericho raid.

1) Is it true that Mofaz was actually quoted in Al-Ayyam with any such statement?

2) Has any other newspaper outside Palestine picked up on this story? Or some other media agency, perhaps?

3) What are your views on this? Was there a collaboration?

I would greatly appreciate your help in trying to fully confirm for many Western observers that there actually was coordination over these raid.

JazakAllah and Wassalam.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this crisis ends soon

Inshallah

Yasse

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

From the Israeli paper Haaretz:


Humanitarian aid to reach Gaza Strip via Egypt

By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and The Associated Press

Representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Quartet of Middle East peace brokers reached a temporary agreement Sunday that humanitarian aid to the Palestinians will enter Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

Israel has shut the Karni terminal, the main cargo crossing and supply route between Israel and Gaza, on and off for the past two months, citing security concerns. It is closed now and Israel says it has no immediate plans to reopen it.

The closure had led to food shortages in the Gaza Strip.

The deal, reached during talks at the Herzliya home of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones, also includes an agreement that Karni will not be replaced with an alternative crossing at Kerem Shalom, to the south, as Israel had wanted.

The decision to use the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt was announced at the end of the meeting by Jones and the PA's security chief in Gaza, Rashid Abu Shbak. Israel also agreed to the measure.

"We've taken the initiative to call a meeting between the parties to faciliate the passing of humanitarian goods into Gaza," U.S. embassy spokesman Stewart Tuttle said ahead of the meeting.

According to Israel Radio, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz had told the cabinet earlier in the day he would look into the possibility of using the Kerem Shalom crossing as an alternative lifeline for Gaza instead of the Karni crossing, which was closed due to terror attack warnings.

Israel would permit 100 trucks through the crossing, officials said.

Palestinians rejected the offer as inadequate.

Salim Abu Safiya, the Palestinian security chief for crossings into Gaza, told Israel Radio that Kerem Shalom was too small to meet the needs of 1.4 million Gazans and objected to shutting Karni indefinitely.

Abu Safiya said Karni was "the backbone of the Palestinian economy". It is the conduit for most of Gaza's raw materials imported through Israel and a key export terminal from Gaza as most of the territory's trade is with Israel.

The United States overcame Israeli objections to mediate an agreement to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt in November.

Palestinians in Gaza say the closure of Karni has led to shortages of bread and other basic goods. Many bakeries have been forced to close for lack of flour.

Gaza's economy still relies on supplies from Israel despite its withdrawal from the coastal strip last year.

Earlier on Sunday the Palestinian Authority said it would not open the alternative Kerem Shalom border crossing for Israeli goods.

Israel responded by notifying the Palestinians that they would be held accountable for a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that would ensue from their decision. Israel also warned the Palestinians that it would not tolerate their insistence on keeping closed the crossing, Israel Radio reported.

Health Minister Ya'akov Edri said he believes that "[the Palestinians] are creating an artificial crisis."

"If a humanitarian problem does exist, we have told them to open the Kerem Shalom crossing immediately. There are teams ready to execute this and goods can be shipped in immediately," he told Israel Radio.

Palestinian National Economy Ministry said Friday it expected bakeries to run out of flour within a few days because of the shutdown of the Palestinian major flour supplier. Israel Radio reported Sunday that most bakeries in Gaza City were closed down due to a serious flour shortage.

Sources in Jerusalem said that the PA's decision was a "cynical move aimed at pressing Israel to open the Karni crossing," closed by Israel due to terror attack warnings.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Z said...

This is truly amazing. The Palestinians were so capable of smuggling weapons, explosives, and other tools for the destructions of Jews into Gaza with the Israelis on the border. But suddenly, they can’t do anything to bring in water and flour. Providing food must not grant the same social status as a murderer.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please...my question is a serious one...why ignore me? The sibling rivalry between the two sons of Abraham does not just affect his descendants. It affects all of us on this planet. I am not listening to the politicains on either side because they talk out of both sides of their mouths and their actions don't back up their words in any case...I want to know from people just like me...an ordinary mom who loves her family, her friends and her countrymen.

"Can you tell me what the Palestinians want?

Can you tell me what the Israelis want?

I have been trying to understand for years but just get more and more confused. Killing and killing and killing. Where does it get any of you?"

11:27 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon (11:27 PM), I can tell you what the Israelis want. Like any other person living as a citizen in their country, and like any other Jew who has been persecuted since the beginning of their existence and before, we just want to live in peace and quiet. That's it. Nothing more and nothing less. Why else would we be willing to give up sovereignty over our religion's most holy sites and to kick fellow citizens out of their homes if this was not our aim?

We are just trying to defend ourselves and citizens so that we may live in that peace. We didn't start this war, but we have the obligation to defend ourselves and our country. I hope that answers your questions, in part.
-OC

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Z said...

Anon,

The Anthem of Israel spells it out:

As long as deep in the heart,
The soul of a Jew yearns,
And forward to the East
To Zion, an eye looks
Our hope will not be lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can have Jewish blood, or you can have bread. Choose wisely.

5:19 AM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

You can have Jewish blood, or you can have bread. Choose wisely.



I generally am sympathetic to Israel but I think commentaries like the one above are " incredible ".

People should respect each other and after all we are free to comment what they like because the author of the Blog allows it. So people should have manners , so to speak.
Besides.., after studying the posts one reached the conclusion that Israel threatened the PA with the forced opening of a crossing.

Israel also warned the Palestinians that it would not tolerate their insistence on keeping closed the crossing, Israel Radio reported.

So one has to reach the conclusion that it was not Israel that was preventing the flour to reach Gaza, but the palestinian Authority herself.


So the comment above does not make sense since Israel is not starving the palestinians.

What I got from the post above:




1- Israel has shut the Karni terminal, the main cargo crossing and supply route between Israel and Gaza, on and off for the past two months, citing security concerns. It is closed now and Israel says it has no immediate plans to reopen it.
The closure had led to food shortages in the Gaza Strip



2 Israel position :


Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz had told the cabinet earlier in the day he would look into the possibility of using the Kerem Shalom crossing as an alternative lifeline for Gaza instead of the Karni crossing



3 Palestinian position :



Palestinians rejected the offer as inadequate.

Salim Abu Safiya, the Palestinian security chief for crossings into Gaza, told Israel Radio that Kerem Shalom was too small to meet the needs of 1.4 million Gazans and objected to shutting Karni indefinitely.


Earlier on Sunday the Palestinian Authority said it would not open the alternative Kerem Shalom border crossing for Israeli goods.


( Why the opening Of kerem Shalom was not a good solution according to Layla:
According to layla with palestinians did not agree with the use of the Kerem Shalom Crossing.



Allowing imports through Kerem Shalom would create the same problem for Palestinians as the current setup at Karni/Al-Mintar: it would be subjected to Israeli control and closure at will. instead, the US recommended that BOTH crossing be open in parallel at the same time.

Besides, neither crossing (kerem shalom or Rafah) is set up properly for cargo and goods as al-Mintar/Karni currently is, and would only allow in limited amount of goods (for example, Kerem Shalom right now would only be able to handle 4 trucks, as opposed to 160 that are supposed to come through al-Mintar/Karni).


4
Israel responded by notifying the Palestinians that they would be held accountable for a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip that would ensue from their decision. Israel also warned the Palestinians that it would not tolerate their insistence on keeping closed the crossing, Israel Radio reported.


5 The Deal


Representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Quartet of Middle East peace brokers reached a temporary agreement Sunday that humanitarian aid to the Palestinians will enter Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.




................

6:03 AM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

solitarioh,
This is a nice post and responds nicely to what I wrote above in my comment. The Palestinians have a elected a parliment that is now with a working Govt (sworn in last night). They should do what every other Democracy does (see france for example) and make sure thier Govt. is taking care of them. Even if it means going against what they believe in and talking to the Israeli Govt. (on a very limited narrow Bassis of course so that not to show that they actually recognize this country).
Palestinias should orginize ralies and protest against their own Govt. until they get what they want. It is up to that Govt. to make sure their people are being taken care of!!
Good luck, and I hpe this all ends soon.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

You are right, Oleh. Why didn't I-or anyone else for that matter-think about that before? I'll go now onto the bread-free, besieged streets and scream-VIVE LA REVOLUCION! Gee, I wonder if that's the Intifada got started in the first place?

There are several points to be made here:

1. Palestinians have a long history of protest, for, as we say in Arabic, "kul sgheera wi kbeera" -every little and big thing. That includes domestically. If you think they are not out on the streets protesting at this very moment lack of wages (security forces, munipality workers-which didn't collect trash yesterday, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, gas) then you don't know Gaza well. As I write I hear them shooting outside (not the best form of protest, but well there are a lot of loose canons around)

2. The bigger picture here is, you cannot simply CUT OFF an entire population of people whose economy, to quote Sarah Roy, Israel actively de-developed for years and years. Everyone acknowledges that eventually it is in the Palestinian economy's interest to become less dependent on that of Israel's, but again, that does not happen overnight, nor unilaterally, the two economies are inextricably interlinked. To assume otherwise is plain ignorance on your part(strangely, you sound very much like Hamas's Mahmud Zahar in this regard. An excerpt from Helena Cobban's interview with him during her time here: "Zahhar spoke with calm determination about the prospect of Gaza breaking out of the Paris Agreement. "An opening of our trade links to Egypt and through our seaport is a first option for us," he said.

The Israelis have violated all the economic agreements from the Paris Agreement through to the Rafah Agreement [which was concluded with Secretary Rice's help just last November]. So we are not obligated to remain within them.

If we push ahead with regard to opening our border with Egypt, we can certainly make it work to the benefit of both sides. You know, in September, right after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza,when our border with Egypt was unsecured-- we learned that our people spent $8 million in El-Arish in just ten days, because the prices of everything in Egypt are so much lower than the prices the Israelis impose on us here.

I mentioned a concern that some Palestinians had voiced: that if Gaza broke out of the Paris Agreement, this would split it off even more from the West Bank-- an area that remains under much tighter and more pervasive Israeli control than Gaza. Zahhar was unfazed. "Gaza is already cut from the West Bank," he said. He noted that any switch by the Gazans from the customs envelope with Israel to a new economic link with Egypt, "should of course be by arrangement with Egypt.")

In the end, Israel exercises complete and absolute control over the movement of all goods into and out of Gaza and the West Bank-- and this control continues, despite the 'disengagement'-whose aim was to 'disengage' also from the Occupier's responsibility over Gaza (and yes, its an obligation, whether we wait for it or not, you cannot create a mess and run away from it). This control over all avenues for external trade has given Israel a stranglehold over the PA's economy that is even tighter than the one that apartheid South Africa used to exercise over its Bantustans.

Currently, neither Rafah nor Kerem Shalom are equipped to faciliate large-scale movement of goods. Further, such a route will still entail Israeli checks-which makes the whole thing circutuous and inefficient (imagine goods from the West Bank must go through Israel, then Kerem Shalom, then Egypt, then Rafah). That is why the Rice agreemetn said BOTH crossings must be open, you cannot simply rely on one, and bring everythign through Egypt.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

A nation of beggars

By Amira Hass

It is not the Palestinians who should be welcoming the European Union's decision to hastily donate another $142 million before the Hamas government is formed. It is Israel that ought to be pleased that the Western states will continue compensating the Palestinians for the economic decline that is a product of the Israeli occupation.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/688642.html

10:53 AM  
Blogger Oleh Yahshan said...

First of all I am glad that you are protesting and excersising you Democratic rights, can you get us some pictures of these, since the world press doesn't seem to care that much (one of the reasons I do read your Blog - By pass Media).

I hope that one day we will reach a point where Goods and people can move between Israel and Gaza freely, as it once did back in the pre intifadah days. But the times have changed and we don't trust you and you don't trust us (both collective here). and that is why I think even at the cost of loosing some economic benefits you should cut loose from the Israeli Dependancy. I am sure it's not an over night process and it's not an Easy one, but the sooner you start doing the sooner it will happen. Then you will be able to develop both Crossings - Egypt and Israel and will be less dependent on the Internal afairs of either one.
I believe that after the elections the crossing will be opend again. But by then you will also have the other crossings opened, and will be able to move even more of your goods in and out.

All I am trying to say is that constantly blaming Israel all the time does not help your cause (even if Israel is wrong). It has created a dependacny in such a way that as long as you find who to blame you can sit back and hope everything will be ok. If instead you get up and start pushing goods via the crossings, even against the Paris Deal, will in the end serve your cause and help you get on your feet.

btw - the difference in prices between Israel and Egypt have to do with the development of the economies, it isn't (as you mentioned) some kind of plot to drive up prices in the PA (Actually they are cheaper than you can find in Israel).

11:51 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Oleh, this has sort of been anaswered already, but anyway: from a friend who helped negotiate the Agreement on Movement and Access, and several other negotiations:

"Rafah cannot be used for a number of reasons: (1) it is simply not equipped to handle large quantities of goods – if it was, we of course, would be able to use it. For example, at Rafah there are no silos for flour, no pipelines for gas and no means of handling large cargo (2) the Israelis (along with the European monitors) have prevented the shipment in of goods through trucks. So, I guess, Oleh thinks that we can resolve a humanitarian crisis by asking all passengers to carry in suitcases of flour…

Regarding Kerem Shalom, even if it is opened to full capacity there is no ability to meet the needs of Palestinians. While Karni has the capacity to allow hundreds of trucks to enter, Kerem Shalom has the capacity to handle a MAXIMUM of 40 trucks (some estimate fewer)."

12:22 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

So, again, tell me why you HAVE to go into Israel to get your flour? Why are you so dependent on Israel for goods and supplies? Why isn't your government encouraging investment and foreign trade instead of being the country receiving the highest amount of foreign aid in the world?
-OC

1:31 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi OC,

"Why isn't your government encouraging investment and foreign trade instead of being the country receiving the highest amount of foreign aid in the world?"

Let us again how much aid the Palestinians get, and how much aid the US gives Israel.

Regs, Shaggy

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Freedom said...

Laila,

My heart goes out to you and the Palestinian people who are suffering under Israeli occupation and starvation policies. I wish you and yours all the best.

2:51 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Oleh Yahshan said...

solitarioh,
This is a nice post and responds nicely to what I wrote above in my comment. The Palestinians have a elected a parliment that is now with a working Govt (sworn in last night).They should do what every other Democracy does (see france for example) and make sure thier Govt. is taking care of them.


Thanks a lot for your nice words.

3:25 PM  
Blogger audacious said...

you have a very interesting blog!

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laila, it is fascinating that you refer to the Israelis violating the economic agreements -- the reason Karni is closed is because of terrorist threats. Had Arafat not steered you down the path of war in 2000, the crossing would be opening and your economy flourishing.

Had he stayed on the road to peace, joint Israeli-Palestinian patrols would still be maintaining that peace.

Frankly, the economic hardship you now suffer is the direct result of his encouragement of terrorism and warfare over commerce and cooperation. And instead of changing course, you have elected a government of terrorists who believe that if Karni is opened and used for terrorism, that is entirely legitimate.

Reverse the situation. Imagine that it was the Israelis on the other side of the Karni crossing who believed it was entirely appropriate to use that crossing to come murder Yousef in his sleep.

Would you not sleep better knowing the crossing was closed? You would be insane to open it.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon (5:49 PM), you hit the nail right on the head. Well put!
-OC

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was indeed well put Anon,but...
It´s always the same,a lot of people came here before and said the same thing.And?
That´s for us very clear why are the crossings closed.
Would you open your front door to someone which plans to kill you?
It´s like there is no legitime reason for the borders to be closed,it´s only because we are bad and like to play war games.
Oh,come on,this Government (Hamas)does not even recognize Israel it´s known as a terrorists all over the world they were elected by YOU.
And what´s now?
I also asked here before what are THEY doing to help it´s own people?
But I am feel very sorry for us anyway,because nothing it´s going to change. Unfortnelly

7:16 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi Anon,

'Reverse the situation. Imagine that it was the Israelis on the other side of the Karni crossing who believed it was entirely appropriate to use that crossing to come murder Yousef in his sleep.'


Many do, and that's also a problem.

Regs, Shaggy

7:42 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Olah, I was intrigued that your blog profile says one of your interests is "serial killers and rapists."

That fits, I think.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Deleted the post above because I left out a crucial word:

Nothing goes in or out of Rafah crossing =without= the approval of the Israeli government.

I know people who have been turned away from doing humanitarian work because the Israelis called them security risks.

I suspect Olah and wife know this, though.

Some "disengagement"

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Rowan Berkeley said...

I think people are talking past each other here. Israel wants permanent control over all goods and people passing between Gaza and Egypt - they say they want this control for security purposes, but they obviously want it also so that they can control, profit from, and tax goods coming in, and, when they feel like it, cut them off altogether. Since, understandably, no Gazan administration will stand for this, Israel is trying to force them to accept it by saying, this way or starve.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

elizabeth, this will be my only comment to you ever. It's intriguing that you have nothing of value or intelligence to say.

abu, unless you can prove otherwise, there is no Israeli presence at the Rafah Crossing. It was closed after the Jericho prison raid because the European monitors fleed their posts on the account that they were afraid for their lives. However, it was reopened shortly afterward. The security and oversite of the crossing is in control of the Egyptians and Palestinians with Europeans monitors. Since the Disengagement, Israel has entrusted its security of the border and the oversite/approval of what comes in to the Europeans. Certainly, the Israelis would not approve of the vast amount of munitions and other assortedly fun and deadly weapons that come crawling into Gaza, through Rafah, every day. So, how does your statement hold any water? Secondly, if the Palestinians really wanted to smuggle some grain or other assorted essential foods (that would go beyond the alloted amount agreed upon), they could very well and very easily use the smuggling tunnels that have been dug under Rafah. But, nah, the terrorists would rather use them to bring in weapons. Some-one else can handle the food problem.

Thirdly, would you please provide your source for this denial of humanitarian aid? Also, can you please provide the name of the organization and its contents that it was trying to bring into Israel? Let's try to figure out if it really was a security risk and not try to be dripping with contemptable cynicism.

rowan, what profit and tax money is Israel collecting from goods (and weapons) traveling between Gaza and Egypt? Can you please provide the numbers and sources for this allegation? The Gazan administration and the PA is doing nothing to encourage foreign trade and investment. All they are screaming for is more foreign aid to increase their pocket books. One way of doing this is the official report that has just come out, which shows that the PA has been inflating their population numbers by more than 1 million in order to get more foreign and humanitarian aid. Instead, what they should be doing is encouraging their people to not burn down and destroy the millions of dollars worth of greenhouses and assorted technology that was left for them after the Disengagement. Again, it's always easier for a government to blame some-one else as to prevent them from having to do any real work to improve the condition of their country and citizens.

Lastly, Israel has given no such "ultimatum" to the Palestinian government. In fact, they are convening right now, or will be within the next several days, with the UN, Egyptians, PA, the US, and Europe to discuss how to handle the food shortage. Unless you can bring proof that it has become "obvious" by means of official Israeli policy and implementation, making such a grandiose statement and accusation is simply pandering. There is also the question of why the PA does not utylize the Karem Shalom crossing which is a perfectly viable alternative and addition to the Rafah Crossing.
-OC

11:03 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi The Shameless One,

"elizabeth, this will be my only comment to you ever."

Could you extend that to this blog, and not sully it with your or your husbands presence again, EVER?

TIA

Regs and good riddance, Shaggy

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, olah, your calm and clear delivery of the facts -- which contradict the lies of abu shaar, Rowan and others -- trouble people like Shaggy, who rely upon propaganda to control the uneducated. It's so much easier to say lies about the Israelis controlling Rafah or wanting money at Karni (actually the Karni money is split 50/50 with the PA, and it's the PA that refused to use the Kerem Shalom crossing where there is no money to be made), when there is no one here to offer up the truth.

This blog might actually be a place to learn the truth rather than blind hate if you don't go away!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon, thank you for your comments, and you're absolutely correct. Unfortunately, there are people in the world that when they have no facts or anything of intelligence to offer will resort to name calling and immature antics and tantrums. They don't like when their whole belief system about a certain people is shaken to its very core because it was built on nothing but thin air and false provocations before-hand. It's very hard for some people to take. And, instead of attempting to engage in a meaningful and logical dialogue where facts and rational based on those facts are exchanged, they resort to the name calling and try to push the other person's emotional button in an attempt to sway that person from the task at hand. It's a pitiful and pathetic act and not worthy of any attention by those who are looking to engage in that meaningful dialogue in pursuit of truth.

In terms of why the Karni crossing results in split profits between Gaza and Israel is because it's a commercial and customs crossing between Gaza and Israel. Just like any other country collects customs tax on merchendise and other items coming into their country so too does Israel have the right to collect customs tax from items crossing betwee the two lands. The Karem Shalom and Rafah corssings intersect between Egypt and Gaza and are in those parties' control, among European over-seers (who tend to desert their posts a lot). They don't touch Israel's borders, so there's no logic as to why Israel would demand to gain any profit from those crossings. Well, unless you subscribe to the libel that Israelis, ergo Jews, are a bunch of money hungry thieves, then there is plenty of logc to that claim.

And, you bring up an excellent point that flies in the face of any neophite attempting to claim that Israel "closed" the Rafah crossing because of the "obvious" desire to make a profit and collect taxes and bleed more money from the Palestinians. If Israel was so hungry to bleed money and taxes from the goods traveling between the crossings, then why would they close the biggest crossing, that they make 50% profit from? It doesn't make much sense, now does it, rowan?
Thanks, anon. Well put!
-OC

2:15 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

You know, I'm really getting fed up with all of this self-righteosness. I don't understand Anon-what "truth" do you think you'll discover on my blog-becomes it seems like you already made up your mind and have your own version of the truth, irregardless of the facts.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

laila, first of all, thank you for making my point. Second of all, you should be aware that there are people who want to hear yet disagree with what you have to say. If you want the comment section to just be a puppet piece or a sound bite system that only agrees and reinforces what you have to say, then, excuse my boldness, but you can do one of 2 things. Either, disallow comments, so that your blog will be a place where you voice your opinions and everyday life, and other people just come to read it. Or, you kindly ask all those who disagree with what you or any other commentator has to say to not post or say anything. That way, you nor anyone else will have to worry about dissenting points of view. I'm sorry if that sounds obnoxious, mean, or insulting, but you have to understand that this blog is open to anyone who finds it. It's not a private diary, nor is it a newspaper article where dissenting views or complaints go to the editor. So, no offense, but you either tell all those dissenters or people looking for the other side to go away, or accept that there will be people commenting here that disagree with what others have to say.

But, I just want to point out one last thing. If you haven't noticed, most people are not directly disagreeing what you have to write. I have rarely seen a dissenting comment directed at you, personally. Instead, they have been toward other commentors. Please, keep that in mind.
-OC

5:08 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

I read Raising Yousef to hear about Laila and Yousef and to renew the connection in my heart to Gaza.

I'm sick to death of the self-righteous, moralistic bloviating about two sides and the "cycle of violence" coming from people who profit and prosper from the misery of children and have no intention of actually listening to someone who's trying very hard to raise a child under extremely difficult conditions.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Palestinian Princess said...

I am so depressed, the situation in West Bank and Gaza are getting worse and worse every single day... CAN ANYONE HEAR US??

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course it's getting worse every day. The government of the PA is now led by Hamas, meaning that it is committed to destroying Israel through the murder of all the little Jewish Yosef's.

And you complain that the Israelis are not inclined to let all the murderers through into their territory.

When terrorism stopped, the borders were open and commerce boomed. The Palestinian people made their choice, they voted for war over peace.

Now you are upset that you have to live with that choice, but you can't blame the Israelis for protecting themselves.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon, your point is well put. Before the second Intifada started, the crossings were all open, there were a lot less roadblocks, and those that did existed took minutes to get through. Commerce in the West Bank boomed. As I've pointed out before, many polls show that those Palestinians, of the older generation, that worked before the Intifada and before Oslo have, for the majority, have stated that their life was better before the Intifada. (Even the leader of the al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade in the West Bank admitted that "...not only was the Intifada a failure, but we are a failure...") Also, a vast majority of Palestinians who lived and worked before the Oslo Accords were signed stated that their lives and livelihoods were much better under Israeli rule.
-OC

1:05 AM  
Anonymous kimmy said...

When the Israelis stop their terrorisms the people of Palestein they will live.
When Israel will stop their occupation of Palestien the people will live in peace.
This is simple. Why can't Israel understand this?
It is not IDF it is IOF.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Kimmy, as per your previous post, your assinine and bloviations do not warrant any serious comments. I don't want to insult any person's serious intellegence by attempting to give you the time of day.
-OC

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Olah/Oleh,
The Bobsy twins. You are more worried about your excistence than about the Palestinians.
Your main excistance is about your own survival, not about the Palestinian survival.
You are constantly bringing back the past only in your favour.
Palestien was there before you invaded in the name of your religion.
Now you invade the Palestinian country even more.
You want your own country. Try it without invading other countries.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palestinian Princess: the whole world hears you. And the world is disgusted with you. Now make your choice: do you want more Jewish blood or do you want bread?

7:54 PM  

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