The decision to cut off the supply of electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip, taken today by the leader of the Israeli Labour Party who in practice leads the extreme right, is a further exacerbation of the cruel siege which the state of Israel is already imposing for many months on the population of the Gaza Strip.
Ehud Barak’s inhuman decision is hardly surprising, following his prolonged orchestrating of a siege which led to an almost complete paralysing of economic activity in the Gaza Strip, where some eighty percent of the population have fallen below the poverty line. Among other things, this siege includes a prohibition on the entry of milk powder for babies and toys for children, and the denial of vital medical treatment to cancer patients. Only in the past few days, this has led to the death of Nemer Mohammed Salim Shuhaiber, 77-year old Gazan to whom IDF soldiers at the Erez Checkpoint denied passage on his way to medical treatment.
The shooting of Quassam missiles cannot be an excuse for such a severe collective punishment imposed on a a million and half inhabitants, and which constitutes a severe violation of human rights and international law. Such Human Rights violations are incompatible with the State of Israel’s claim to be part of the enlightened democratic world and to demand, for example, preferential trade relations with the European Union.
Had the Government of Israel been truly concerned for the suffering of the inhabitants of bombed Sderot, the way is wide open to achieve a ceasefire agreement with Hamas – as Ismail Haniya offered several times, and repeated it today. Such an agreement could included the end of the siege and of armed attacks of all kinds, on both sides of the Gaza border.
Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on the circumstances of Nemer Mohammed Salim Shuhaiber ‘s death, due to denial of medical treatment: