Gaza on the brink of food crisis

 

The closure of Gaza’s largest commercial crossing is leading to panic and a looming humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip as wheat stocks run out
Saleh Naami , Thursday 20 Jan 2011

The Gaza Strip is facing a humanitarian crisis following the complete depletion of wheat stocks after Israel closed the Mantar commercial crossing, which had been the entry point for grain into the territory.

Abdel Nasser Al-Ajrami, head of the union of bakery owners in Gaza, announced Thursday morning that the flour mills have stopped meaning that most bakeries aren’t working.

Significantly, the decision to close the crossing was agreed upon by the Ramallah government, lead by Salam Fayyad, and the Israeli army. The agreement also covered the running of the Karam Abu Salem crossing, located on the Egyptian-Palestinian-Israeli border.

Hamas decried the agreement by Fayyad’s government as “a crime and collusion” with Israel over the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Some streets in the Gaza strip witnessed traffic jams as people rushed to the bakeries that still had stocks of flour.

Economic experts view the dependence on the Karam Abu Salem crossing will lead to a dramatic shortage of food products that were allowed to enter in the wake of the “Freedom Flotilla” last summer.

Gaza on the brink of food crisis – Region – World – Ahram Online.

Asia Convoy 1: Shame on US, Israel for Gaza blockade

[ 04/01/2011 – 07:41 PM ]

 

GAZA, (PIC)– Asia Convoy 1 head Feroz Mesberola said the convoy’s naval vessel carrying 20 tons of humanitarian aid valued at one million dollars docked at Port El Arish, Egypt Tuesday morning in its final stop for the aid to be unloaded onto trucks that will carry it to the Gaza Strip through Rafah.

The convoy’s activists earlier flew from Syria to Egypt before crossing over to the Gaza Strip through Rafah. The multi-national mission set out Monday morning on a tour of Gaza to assess the region’s situation.

Reaching the Shifa hospital in Gaza in the course of the tour, Mesberola said the facility’s medical staff are an elemental part of the Palestinian resistance of the Israeli occupation. Israel wants to kill Palestinians with illnesses, he said.

“You provide aid and well-being to the Palestinians despite the difficulties you suffer. We found the hospital to be very clean and advanced in its services,” he went on to say.

“Shame on America and Israel for not allowing the hospital to finish some of its buildings until now. Israel fears the cement that the Palestinians build with.”

“We feel it is our duty to offer aid and needed medicines to the hospital, so we are preparing Convoy Asia 2, which we hope will arrive June this year.”

Ebraman Abdurrahman, heading the convoy’s Indonesian delegation, announced that the Indonesian government will erect a hospital in the Beit Lahia district, a project that was kicked off in 2008 in northern Gaza in cooperation with the health ministry.

Gaza hospital authority director Madhat Moheisan expressed his gratitude to the convoy for coordinating with hospital regarding the required medical supplies. The convoy equipped the health facility with 30 solar-powered back-up generators

Asia Convoy 1: Shame on US, Israel for Gaza blockade.

Egyptian Blockade of Gaza – Blocking Ramsey Clark, Dr. Curtis Doebbler

Egyptian Blockade of Gaza – Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General Of the US but long time enemy of US imperialism is being blocked by Egypt (under US orders) into entering Gaza at this moment. All required protocols were followed on the Egyptian side, but once again Egypt plays its role in collaborating with Israel and blockading Gaza. Clark has important work in Gaza, he is travelling with Dr. Curtis Doebbler & Sarah Flounders of International Action Center

Ramsey Clark can be reached at +20 1501093768 or +41 793044654

PRESSURE EGYPT NOW TO STOP BLOCKING HIS ENTRY & ALL OTHER HUMANITARIANS

Ramsey Clark as US Attorney General 1968

William Ramsey Clark (born December 18, 1927) is an American lawyer and former United States Attorney General. He worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, which included service as United States Attorney General from 1967 to 1969, under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Ramsey Clark in 2010 – Anti-war Rally

Following his term as Attorney General he worked as a law professor and was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement. He visited North Vietnam in 1972 as a protest against the bombing of Hanoi. He was also associated with the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison before resigning to run for political office.

n June, 2006, Clark wrote an article criticizing US foreign policy in general, containing a list of 17 US “major aggressions” introduced by “Both branches of our One Party system, Democrat and Republican, favor the use of force to have their way.” (the list includes the Clinton years) and followed by “The United States government may have been able to outspend the Soviet Union into economic collapse in the Cold War arms race, injuring the entire planet in the process. Now Bush has entered a new arms race and is provoking a Second Cold War…”[19]

Egyptian Blockade of Gaza – Blocking Ramsey Clark, Dr. Curtis Doebbler.

‘Egypt’s aid blockade, pro-Israeli move’

PressTV – Tue Jan 4, 2011 7:12AM

Hassan Rooyvaran -Head of the Iranian delegation with the Asia to Gaza Solidarity Caravan, (Asia 1) says Egypt’s decision to block Iranian humanitarian aid from reaching the Gaza Strip is a pro-Israeli effort.

We expected Egyptian officials to cooperate and accept Iran’s humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, since this is a humane effort to exhibit solidarity with the people of Gaza, Hassan Rooyvaran said on Monday.

Cairo had previously announced that it would allow the passage of Asia 1 aid convoy to El Arish port only if 20 Iranian activists stopped accompanying the caravan.

The Egyptian government has also refused entry to several other non-Iranian activists to Egypt as well.

The Asia 1 aid convoy carrying food and medical supplies to the besieged Palestinians in Gaza entered the coastal strip through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Monday.

The convoy had travelled 7,000 kilometers, but was stuck in Latikia, in northwest Syria, for more than a week awaiting Egypt’s permission.

The aid convoy started its journey in the Indian capital, New Delhi. It had passed through Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and Syria to reach Egypt and finally the Gaza Strip.

Rooyvaran reiterated that Cairo’s opposition to Iran’s humanitarian aid is against the wave of solidarity with the impoverished people of Palestine.

“We condemn Egypt’s action and regard its decision to block the delivery of any type of aid to the people of Gaza in line with policies of the Zionist regime,” he continued.

The activists say their mission is to demonstrate solidarity with the besieged people of Gaza and part of their resistance against Israeli atrocities.

Tel Aviv has been enforcing an all-out land, aerial and naval blockade on the 1.5 million Palestinians in the enclave since mid-June 2007.

The embargo persists while Gaza is far from recovering from the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli war that claimed the lives of over 1,400 Palestinians, inflicting an additional damage of more than $1.6 billion on the enclave’s economy.

AO/MB/HRF

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PressTV – ‘Egypt’s aid blockade, pro-Israeli move’.

Israelis spying on new Irish Gaza blockade ship | Irish News | IrishCentral

Blockade runners fear Mossad will sabotage

Israeli Defense Forces

Israeli Defense Forces

Read more: Call for aid on latest Irish Gaza flotilla effort

The location of the Irish ship, that is part of the aid flotilla set for Gaza, is being kept secret due to fears that Israeli intelligence may be spying on the groups effort.

Last year it was believed that Mossad photographed the Irish aid ship, Rachel Corrie, as prepared for its trip to Gaza at Dundalk, County Louth.

The next multinational aid flotilla is due to set sail in March. Those involved met in Rome in December to finalize details to their schedule.

It’s believed that his trip will involved up to 20 ships including the Rachel Corrie and, Turkish ship, Mavi Maramara. Last year nine crew members were attacked and killed on the Mavi Maramara when Israeli soldiers boarded the ship.

The new Irish boat, which is yet to be named, is currently thought to be somewhere in the Mediterranean. It is likely to be relocated soon.

Fintan Lane of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), which is organizing the Irish contingent, told the Sunday Tribune “The Israelis don’t want this flotilla to sail. They want to stop it. I simply don’t trust Israel to act within the law. [The flotilla] could be sabotaged.”

He continued “There is absolutely no doubt that the steering committee is being kept under surveillance by the Israeli security service.”

Those organizing the flotilla believe there will be a larger number of participants this year following the publicity which surrounded last years Israeli operation and the deaths of nine sailors.

Lane said “The likelihood is that it will be double the number that was there last time and probably more…Israel intended [its intervention last year] as an act of intimidation but it backfired.

“We have a lot more people involved this time around. People are more determined than before, partly because they don’t want those who died to have died in vain…People are getting their ships ready. There is a lot to be done,” added Lane.

“The point is to make this an even greater challenge to siege and we want to make it as difficult as possible for Israel to stop the flotilla.”

This years flotilla will involve ships from Europe, the United States, Canada and Malaysia.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said that the government was prepared to express regret for the loss of life but would not apologize for the death of the nine Turkish sailors. They insist they were killed in self-defense.

Israelis spying on new Irish Gaza blockade ship | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Israeli Commandos Intercept Gaza-Bound Ship on Route to Egyptian Port

News number: 8910121528

18:35 | 2011-01-02

World

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Israeli Commandos Intercept Gaza-Bound Ship on Route to Egyptian Port

TEHRAN (FNA)- Israeli commandos intercepted a Gaza-bound aid ship en route to the Egyptian port of Al-Arish in international waters and interrogated the crew and the peace activists aboard the vessel.

Reports from the passengers aboard the ship said that the vessel carrying an Asian Aid Cargo for the besieged people in Gaza was chased by the Israeli frigates and aircraft since early morning hours and was later forced to a halt by several units of Israeli commandos in international waters.

Unofficial sources said that the Israeli commandos have made several arrests, although they have not faced any resistance by those onboard the vessel and although the ship was moving from Syria to Egypt.

The ship, carrying only eight members of the Gaza-bound Asian convoy, left Syria’s Lattakia Port for al-Arish Port in Egypt on Saturday.

The eight members include peace activists from Azerbaijan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.

Egypt has already granted permission to a number of activists to cross its border with Gaza. Cairo’s approval is required to reach the Gaza Strip through the shared Rafah crossing, particularly since Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip was tightened in 2007.

The convoy, which currently has activists from 18 different nationalities onboard, began its journey from the Indian capital, New Delhi and traveled through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Lebanon.

The move came nearly seven months after Israeli forces raided the Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 31. Over 100 Israeli soldiers supported by military choppers boarded a Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, leading the six-ship convoy in international waters.

The Israeli commandoes killed 20 international human rights activists and wounded 80 more. Nine of the victims were Turkish nationals. Some members of the European parliaments, former western diplomats, reporters and human rights activists were among the victims of Israel’s brutal act.

The siege of Gaza started in June 2007 when Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip. This was supported by the governments of Egypt and the US.

The blockade consists of a land blockade along Gaza’s borders with Egypt and Israel and a sea blockade. It immediately followed the 2006-2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority following the election of Hamas to the Palestinian government.

The blockade has attracted criticism from many Human Rights organizations. September 2009 UN fact-finding mission found that the blockade of Gaza “amounted to collective punishment” was likely a war crime and a crime against humanity and recommended that the matter be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Fars News Agency :: Israeli Commandos Intercept Gaza-Bound Ship on Route to Egyptian Port.