Posts Tagged ‘siege’
In a piece on female protest movements, BBC Radio 4′s ‘Point of View’ mentions the all-woman humanitarian aid ship, the Mariam, heading for Gaza:
True equality will only have been achieved when women are punished as harshly as men for their misdemeanours, says Lisa Jardine in her Point of View column.
A ship carrying humanitarian aid, “manned” entirely by women, is ready to leave Lebanon on the first leg of its journey to Gaza in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade. Named the Mariam (the Aramaic version of Mary), it has a multi-faith international passenger list, including doctors, lawyers and a group of American nuns.
History is full of unexpected precedents where human behaviour is concerned. Although the Mariam initiative has been dubbed by some a publicity stunt, the historian of 16th and 17th-Century Europe encounters groups of ordinary working women acting in a disorderly manner surprisingly often.
As for their contemporary counterpart – the women sailing on the Mariam – I have little doubt that their intention is to show the world that their attempt to help the beleaguered residents of Gaza is solely humanitarian.
They presumably anticipate a less hostile response from the crews of the Israeli ships sent to intercept them en route than that meted out to their male counterparts. Perhaps we should consider whether we might only have arrived at real equality when women are no longer accorded their traditional licence occasionally to misbehave with impunity.
Read the full transcript at the BBC website… (including a number of comments from listeners/readers)
Lamis Andoni opinion piece for AJE’s Focus
While most Israeli leaders are resistant to fully lifting the blockade of Gaza, Avigdor Lieberman, the right-wing foreign minister, is advocating that Israel abandon the Strip to international monitoring and economic rehabilitation.
The proposal, recently leaked to the Israeli press, does not amount to freeing Gaza but rather to placing it under European sea and land inspections and a reconstruction plan.
If implemented, it will permanently sever the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, transforming the Strip into an internationally supervised ghetto – with the dual purpose of ensuring Israeli security and reigning in the Palestinian population.
The isolation of Gaza would further undermine the vision of a contiguous Palestinian state or any form of equitable coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis. It would also divide those families with members in the West Bank, creating a permanent schism in Palestinian society and deepening the sense of fragmentation.
Hamas would effectively be ruling a development project with no meaningful ties to the rest of the Palestinian people.
AJE reports on a Moldovan registered ship being sent by the Libyans:
Organisers of a Libya-sponsored aid ship have said they will continue their attempt to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, despite Israeli claims that the vessel would instead sail to Egypt.
Yousseuf Sawani, a director of the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, told Al Jazeera that there were no plans for the Al-Amal to dock at the port El-Arish.
“This is definitely a part of the campaign against the ship, a campaign of distortion, but we are definitely heading towards Gaza, because that is where aid should be heading to,” he told Al Jazeera.
“This is a purely humane mission, it is neither provocative nor hostile,” he said.
The ship set sail from Greece on Saturday, carrying 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli foreign ministry said that it had reached an agreement with Greece and Moldova to have the ship diverted to Egypt.
Israeli authorities also reportedly contacted Omar Suleiman, the Egyptian intelligence chief, to request that the ship be allowed to dock in El-Arish, close to the border with the Gaza Strip.
Chocolate biscuits are on another ‘list’:
List no. 1: Items Subject to Specific Permission
Arms and Munitions: forbidden transfer under all circumstances across Israel’s frontiers without specific permits – as defined in the Control of Exports Security Order (Arms and Munitions) 5768-2008, and in the Control of Exports Security Order (Missile Equipment) 5768-2008.
Dual Use goods and items: liable to be used, side by side with their civilian purposes, for the development, production, installation or enhancement of military capabilities and terrorist capacities. This list comprises:
- Items listed under the Wassenaar Arrangement: As specified in the updated (2008) “Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies – List of Dual Use Goods and Technologies and Munitions List.”
- Items whose entry into the PA Areas is controlled based on Israeli legislation: i.e. materials and equipment liable to be used for terror attacks and technology that could be used by terrorists – as defined in the Control of Exports Security Order (Controlled Dual Use Equipment Transferred to the PA Areas) 5768-2008 and in Orders of the OC Central Command. These lists include, in detail:
- a range of chemicals used in the production of explosives (including certain fertilizers);
- specific types of metal profiles;
- ball bearings;
- lathes and their parts;
- composite materials;
- hunting knives and machetes;
- optical equipment, such as lasers and night vision goggles;
- certain navigation aides;
- diving equipment;
- parachutes, gliders and other nonmotorized airborne vehicles;
- flares and fireworks;
- avionics and flight control equipment;
- missile related computer technologies;
- rock drills and equipment drawing water from excavated sites.
Items not necessarily included in the lists above but whose entry into Gaza is controlled, as detailed below:
- i. Items and chemicals which could be used in the production of high trajectory weapons (rockets and mortars) by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza – Fertilizers or other mixtures – specifically containing KCl at more than 5%; Epoxy and Vinyl Ester resins; Hardeners for Epoxy Resins containing Amides or Amines; Accelerators for Vinyl Esters; HTPB; Water purification solutions at concentrations higher than 11%.
- ii. Items used as raw materials for improving protection for terror activists
- Fibers or woven fabrics containing Carbon or Glass variants.
- iii. Vessels.
List No. 2: Construction Items and Materials to be Allowed Entry into Gaza only for PA-authorized Projects Implemented by the International Community
While such items are liable to be used for Hamas military purposes (building bunkers, fortifying positions and digging tunnels) Israel will permit their entry into Gaza so as to facilitate construction projects in Gaza – authorized by the PA and implemented and monitored by the international community.
This list includes:
- Portland cement and lime (in bulk, bags or barrels)
- Natural and Quarry aggregates and all varieties of gravel
- Ready concrete
- Precast concrete elements and products
- Steel elements and/or construction products
- Iron for foundations and columns, at any diameter (including wielded steel nets)
- Steel cables of any width
- Forms for construction elements (plastics or galvanized iron)
- Industrialized forms for casting concrete
- Plastic or composite beams more than 4 mm thick
- Thermal isolation materials and products
- Blocs (at any width) – Concrete; Silicate; Ytong or its equivalent; or gypsum
- Materials and products for sealing structures
- Asphalt and its components (Bitumen, emulsion) in aggregate or packaged
- Steel elements or framing products for construction
- Cast concrete elements and products for drainage over 1 m in diameter
- Precast units and sea-borne containers
- Vehicles, excluding private cars and including 4X4 vehicles and other categories of motor vehicles liable to be used in terror activities
- Lumber beams and boards more than 2 cm thick, (liable to be used in “offensive” tunneling aimed at penetrating Israeli territory), unless incorporated in finished products
- Specific procedures, on a case by case basis, will be established so as to permit the transfer of such lumber for other purposes in Gaza.
BBC News: Israel confirms easing of Gaza blockade
Al Jazeera report (here) and interview with Tony Bliar:
It’s three years since the international community promised Palestinians $7.7 billion at an aid conference in Paris. And on Thursday donors are meeting again. But in Gaza Al Jazeera’s found that while the promised money has been delivered to international organizations, Israel’s siege has meant it can’t be put to use.
Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has brought immense sufferings to Palestinians living in the coastal territory. The siege even impedes the supply of water, the most basic need for human survival.
Now – 80 per cent of Gazans lack access to clean water.
The head of Gaza’s water authority says he has plans and the means to import water from other countries until self-dependency is reached, but Israel’s blockade is the only thing in the way.
Convoy Reaches Gaza!
WE HAVE BROKEN THE SIEGE!
The Viva Palestine and PSC aid convoy arrived in Gaza last night at about 7:00pm, with thousands of Palestinians greeting and cheering the convoy to welcome them.
Congratulations to everyone taking part in the convoy and all of those here who raised funds for the trip to become a reality. This has been a tremendous achievement and its importance is political as well as practical.
Thanks of course to the Reading PSC, Waltham Forest PSC, York PSC for their blogs and information which have kept us informed throughout the journey, we look forward to welcoming them and all the other participants back to Britain. We hope that branches around the country will invite them to speak to get their message about Gaza out to the public. Well done, Viva Palestina and Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Christmas ‘under siege’ in Bethlehem
As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, owners of tourism shops in Bethlehem aren’t seeing the booming business they’d expect this time of year.
Nour Odeh reports on how Israel’s illegal occupation may be keeping the West Bank’s tourism industry from thriving.