Monday, June 21, 2010

Security, not civilian blockade of Gaza

From Ynet News, 21 June 2010, by Hanan Greenberg:

...Goods denied entry into Strip [military equipment, metals, fertilizer] will be based mainly on international accord...

Just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the list of goods and products that will be allowed into the Gaza Strip, international attention continues to focus on the items left out.

The list of prohibited items, according to estimates, will be presented in its final format within a few days ...[it] will ...be based on the Wassenaar Arrangement , an international export regime [signed by 40 countries] that monitors the export of dual-use technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes....

Ultimately, thousands of items will be kept out of Gaza, and will be listed on a detailed list in order to avoid situations of uncertainty or controversy. Defense officials estimated that foodstuffs and humanitarian equipment will not be prohibited entry, but that the list may include products items such as aluminum, and various metals and fertilizers, out of fears that Hamas will use these items to construct weapons...

"Even today there is no shortage in the Gaza Strip, not in food or in medicine. For Israel, there was never any intention to harm the civilian population, which Hamas unfortunately is doing. We are hopeful that everything entering the Gaza Strip will reach its destination, which is the Palestinian population, and will not become a tool in the hands of Hamas as has happened in the past." ...

And from Ynet News, 21 June 2010, by Attila Somfalvi:

Netanyahu explains decision to ease restrictions ...from security, political point of view

... Netanyahu said this is "no civilian blockade on Gaza, but only a security blockade."

"The security blockade is tightened now," the prime minister said, "because we have taken away Hamas' ability to blame Israel for harming the civilian population and because our friends around the world are backing us up on this decision and granting legitimacy to the continued security blockade against Hamas."

"We have taken the right decision for Israel from a security and political point of view," Netanyahu asserted.

The prime minister, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will determine which items will be prevented from entering the Strip....
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