NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Gaza-Bound Convoy Leaves UK


    Bashi: While Israel eased Gaza closure, only 40% of imports enter, and export is banned -   September 23, 2010
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



    I support the real news because they deal with real issues, not meaningless articles and sound bites - Gary
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Sari Bashi is the executive director of Gisha, the Israeli legal center for freedom of movement. She clerked on the Israeli Supreme Court for Justice Edmond Levi, prior to becoming a lawyer, she worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Jerusalem.

    Mark Regev is the spokesperson for the Prime Minister of Israel. Prior to his appointment by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, he served as the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Precis

    The fifth land convoy en route to Gaza left the United Kingdom on Saturday. Its aim is to break the closure on Gaza. In July the Israeli government eased its siege on the strip following massive international pressure due to Israeli commando's attack on the Freedom Flotilla. According to Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev, the ease means there are no restriction on the flow of civilian items anymore, however Sari Bashi of the Israeli NGO Gisha, says that even after the lifting of restrictions only 40% of imports actually enter. Bashi also says exports are still prohibited from leaving the Gaza strip, continuing the crippling of the Gazan economy. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky reports the latest on the status of the Gaza closure and the international attempts to break it.

    Transcript

    Gaza-Bound Convoy Leaves UKLIA TARACHANSKY, PRODUCER, TRNN: On Saturday, a land convoy left England en route to Gaza. The fifth in a series of convoys entitled "Viva Palestina" will be traveling through Europe. The Israeli military response to such convoys has escalated with each attempt to breach the siege on Gaza. Activists have sent nine sea flotillas and four land convoys, each one being faced with the Israeli army. Some managed to enter Gaza, while others did not. In May, the Israeli Navy surrounded the last flotilla in international waters, leading to a lethal attack, killing nine activists. While in Tel Aviv, I spoke to Sari Bashi of Gisha, an Israeli human rights organization focusing on Gaza and the freedom of movement.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: Can you describe the difference in the legal system between Israel proper and Gaza?

    SARI BASHI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GISHA: Sure. Within Israel there is a system of domestic law. There's a democracy. It's a flawed democracy, but it is a democracy. And there's a legal system that applies to citizens of Israel. Residents of Gaza and the West Bank are subject to a different regime. Folks in the West Bank are living under military law, where the Israeli military makes the laws and then enforces them. Folks in Gaza are living partially under the Hamas regime, and there are areas of control that Hamas exercises, where Hamas has been making laws. But where Israel is subject to international law is in the areas where it exercises control, namely, control of borders, control of the population registry, and control of the tax system.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: The goal of the convoy is to break the siege on Gaza.

    BASHI: Israel has controlled Gaza's borders for the last 43 years. Three years ago it squeezed those borders even more tightly shut. That's a closure taking place under the context of occupation. Now, the fact of control is something that international law is neutral about. International law doesn't say, stop occupying, start occupying. It says, if you occupy, if you control, you have obligations towards civilians who are under your control. And that's what's illegal. The restrictions on goods and persons coming in and out of Gaza, not for security reasons, but in what Israel describes as economic warfare against the Hamas regime, is illegal because it's punishing civilians for acts they didn't commit.

    TARACHANSKY: In 2006, an election was held in the occupied Palestinian territories. Hamas won the majority of seats, many attributing their victory to the history of corruption in the old establishment party, Fatah. After the election, Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government, but its existence was short-lived, as the two parties descended into armed struggle in Gaza. The United States, Russia, the EU, and the UN refused to recognize Hamas's victory in the election, despite international observers concluding the election was fair. Israel also tightened its restrictions on Gaza. While before, Palestinians with Israeli documentation could enter and leave the strip, travel was made nearly impossible after June 2007. The result was the near collapse of the economy in Gaza and the flourishing of a clandestine economy powered by goods smuggled through tunnels dug under the Rafah border with Egypt. I talked to the Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev about the reasons and nature of the closure.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: Is the closure part of a policy to topple the Hamas government?

    MARK REGEV, ISRAELI GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: There's no such policy. There is a security envelope around Gaza to prevent the Hamas regime from receiving weapons, missiles, rockets, and other dangerous military equipment that end up being fired on Israeli civilians.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: Following the Israeli military attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May, Israel announced it would ease the restriction on movement into and out of Gaza. It officially did so in July.

    REGEV: There are no restrictions today on civilian goods reaching the civilian population on Gaza. The borders are open for civilian traffic. In fact, the quantities of equipment going in are determined more by what the Palestinians in Gaza are ordering.

    TARACHANSKY: I followed up this statement with Sari Bashi.

    BASHI: So the ban on consumer products has been lifted. Raw materials are allowed in in limited quantities, and the ban on construction materials is still mostly in place. In addition, export is still banned, and the movement of people is permitted only in exceptional circumstances. Volume-wise, Gaza residents are allowed to bring in about 40 percent of what they need. They're not allowed to bring in construction materials and they're not allowed to export.

    ~~~

    REGEV: [inaudible] security issues that are very, very serious. It's just—well, it's not a total blanket ban on exports. There have been exports. There have been—throughout the last couple of years there have been exports of agricultural products [inaudible] flour and of strawberries, where I think the Dutch government was involved.

    TARACHANSKY: That breeds a culture of dependency on charity.

    REGEV: Yes. I think if anyone looks at the issue of the Gaza Strip, one knows that always [inaudible] aid from the international community is [inaudible] has always played a major role.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: Is economic warfare legal by international standards?

    BASHI: Not what Israel is doing. Israel has likened its policy towards Gaza to a policy of economic sanctions. Again, we think that's not appropriate. A sanction is when you withhold something that is your sovereign right, a decision to trade with another country. Gaza's not a country. And Israel is not just withholding its own decision to trade with Gaza; it is preventing every country in the world from trading with Gaza.

    ~~~

    TARACHANSKY: The Gaza Freedom Movement is currently organizing the next flotilla, with the intention of sailing to Gaza before the end of the year.

    End of Transcript

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting