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Argument: Gaza blockade allows basic aid, but not other important trade

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Supporting quotations

Gregg Carlstrom. "Gaza's real humanitarian crisis." Al Jazeera. June 3, 2010. Al Jazeera: "Israel usually allows 81 items into Gaza, a list which is subject to revision on a near-daily basis. It is riddled with contradictions: Zaatar, a mix of dried spices, is allowed into the territory; coriander and cumin are not. Chick peas are allowed, while tahini was barred until March 2010.

'Luxury goods,' things like chocolate, are prohibited altogether.

So are most construction materials, though Israel has relaxed this prohibition slightly over the last few weeks. The United Nations refugee agency has resorted to constructing houses out of mud because other building material are unavailable.

So are most construction materials, though Israel has relaxed this prohibition slightly over the last few weeks. The United Nations refugee agency has resorted to constructing houses out of mud because other building material are unavailable.

And those products allowed to enter Gaza are permitted only in modest quantities. In January 2007, Gaza received more than 10,000 truckloads of goods each month; by January 2009, that number was down to roughly 3,000.

A 2008 report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) found that 70 per cent of Gaza's population suffered from "food insecurity." As Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reported last week, the Israeli authorities allow little meat and fresh produce into Gaza, leading to widespread malnutrition in the territory."


Robert Marquand. "Never mind the 'Freedom Flotilla.' Is Israel's Gaza blockade legal?" Christian Science Monitor. June 8, 2010: "Lists of items forbidden to enter under the blockade include everything from canned fruit and fishing rods to musical instruments, donkeys, and nutmeg. A ban on concrete and iron, carried by the “Freedom Flotilla,” aims to stop the building of rocket-proof bunkers – but has hampered reconstruction in the wake of Israel’s 2009 offensive to stop Hamas rocket fire.

Three reports last month assessed the damage a year after the offensive ended. The United Nations Development Program said three-quarters of the damage “remains unrepaired and unreconstructed.” The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted some 40 percent of Gazans lack adequate food, while American Near East Relief found 8 in 10 people need aid. In addition, pools of untreated sewage have grown as large as 100 acres in recent months."


Nicholas Kristof. "Blockade Has Failed." The New York Times. June 3rd, 2010: "The blockade has failed to topple Hamas, failed to recover the captured soldier Gilad Shalit, and failed to keep rockets out of Gaza. When you visit Gaza, you see that the siege has accomplished nothing — except to devastate the lives of 1.5 million ordinary Gazans. Gisha, an Israeli human rights organization, has compiled a list of goods that Israel typically blocks from Gaza: notebooks, blank paper, writing utensils, coriander, chocolate, fishing rods, and countless more. That’s not security; that’s a travesty."

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