Monday, March 20, 2006

The Neverending Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Part xxxxxxxxxx

The Toronto Star weighs in on the Karni border crossing dispute and I quote the highlights:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The incoming Palestinian prime minister presented a Hamas government likely to trigger painful economic sanctions, just as a solution appeared possible for a Gaza border crossing crisis that has caused shortages of vital food products.

On Monday, negotiators are to work out the details of opening at least one crossing to get humanitarian aid into Gaza. Tentative agreement was reached Sunday at a meeting called by the United States to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Also Sunday, Israel, Palestinian and U.S. negotiators came to a tentative agreement to resolve a border-crossing crisis that has caused shortages of vital food products in Gaza, the U.S. ambassador said.

The vital Karni cargo crossing between Israel and Gaza has been closed for most of the past two months, shutting down almost all exports and imports from the poverty-stricken seaside territory. Palestinians charge Israel is punishing the Palestinians for the Hamas victory, but Israel insists it is keeping the crossing shut because of warnings of terror attacks. The lengthy shutdown has led to shortages of flour and milk, among other products, and bakeries are closing, the United Nations said.

While the Karni border was opened briefly today it was closed just as quickly and for the same reasons it keeps being closed by the Israelis. Security alerts.

But the Karni border crossing is not the only border crossing available to the Palestinians. There is another border crossing at the southern end of the Gaza Strip but the Palestinians consistently refuse to consider it as a viable option. Why you may ask? The Kerem Shalom terminal is a heavily fortified crossing unlike the Karni Terminal, and consequently, the opportunity to inflict physical harm to any IDF personnel manning the stations on the Israeli side is minimal at best. But here’s another thought; why don’t the Palestinians expend their markets south to Egypt or North Africa rather than blindly insisting on tunneling only north into Israel?

If there really is a food shortage in the Gaza Strip it is a totally manufactured one caused by the Palestinian Authority who would rather play politics as their citizens starve. Of course, there is a greater irony and that is while the Israelis lived in the Gaza the desert bloomed into an agricultural cornucopia of bounty. I guess you could say those days are long gone.

1 comment:

Gordon Pasha said...

Good points. Where the hell are the Egyptians when their "brothers and sisters" are so hard up?