ACCUSATION: The blockade of Gaza is responsible for a humanitarian crisis
Mathilde Redmatn, deputy head of the Red Cross in Gaza, has stated, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. If you go to the supermarket, there are products. There are restaurants and a nice beach.”
A “siege” is defined in part as “the act or process of surrounding and attacking a place so as to isolate it from help and supplies.” The Israeli government admits thousands of truckloads of supplies, facilitates hundreds of projects in Gaza, and allows hundreds of Palestinian Arabs to obtain medical treatment in Israel. Egypt has a border with Gaza which it operates independently of Israel.
The purpose of controlling the border between Israel and Gaza is to prevent the entry of materials that could be used by terrorists to harm Israeli civilians. Since Israel unilaterally and voluntarily withdrew from Gaza in 2005, terrorists there have fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians.Redmatn has also stated that “Israel has the legitimate right to protect the civilian population” and “rocket fire from the Gaza Strip is against international law because it is directed at civilians.”
By monitoring the border between Israel and Gaza, Israel ensures that materials used by terrorists do not enter Gaza. Israel allows humanitarian goods and merchandise into Gaza and publicly posts all this information.
In 2010, the GDP in the Gaza Strip rose by 15%. In the first quarter of 2011, the output in the Gaza Strip grew by 24.2% and the output per capita rose 20%. In 2010, a luxury mall opened in the Gaza Strip; a luxury hotel opened in 2011.
In 2011, the volume of goods entering the Gaza Strip increased by 87% each day. The variety also grew, which bolstered the private sector and led to a 74% increase in the volume of goods purchased by the private sector as compared to the same period last year.
In 2011, Israel’s policy allowed Palestinians living in the West Bank to export the following to Europe: 9,767,678 carnations, 51 tons of strawberries, 3 tons of peppers, and 3 tons of cherry tomatoes.
Israel has issued permits to some 16,430 patients and their caretakers. These Palestinians left the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in Israel as well as in the West Bank.
Last year 159,627 tons of building materials were brought in for projects funded by the international community. Since the beginning of 2011, the international community has brought in 234.7 trucks per week with an average weight of 8,270 tons. Every month 1,019 trucks with 36,389 tons of goods enter the Gaza Strip.
To date, 150 projects have been approved by Israel in the Gaza Strip; 26 of them have been completed and 52 are in progress.
Israel has approved and is helping to implement the following projects with the international community:
>> Construction of 42 new schools, the expansion three new schools, the restoration of 49 kindergartens, and the restoration of eight libraries and community centers.
>> 28 projects related to water: the establishment of three water sewage plants, six sewer systems, a desalination facility, eight bridges and water systems, two water reservoirs, and the restoration of three pumping stations.
>> Creation of 800 residential units and 1,191 additional units.
>> Setting up of 400 greenhouses and 1,600 plots for crops, the building of 100 refrigeration and packing rooms, and the restoration of agricultural grounds.
>> Building of four new clinics, the establishment of a cardiology department in a hospital, restoring five hospitals and clinics, and building and restoring four medical association facilities.
>> Restoration of 21 agricultural access roads, the development of a bathing beach, the repair of four roads, and two electrical projects.
>> Restoration and expansion of the UNRWA headquarters, creating jobs for 850 women, the establishment of a municipal produce market, and the building of a cultural center.
In 2010, 7,282 business people traveled to Israel, the West Bank, and overseas as part of the ongoing economic activity in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that in the first quarter of 2011, the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip dropped to 30.8%, compared with 33.9% in the first quarter of 2010.The unemployment rate among refugees dropped from 36.2% to 30.6%.The percentage of construction workers rose from 4% to 5%.
These statistics clearly show that Israel has been conducting a benevolent humanitarian policy in the Gaza Strip despite continued rocket fire and mortar attacks on Israeli communities.
Hamas had held Gilad Shalit captive for five years and had denied him any basic prisoner-of-war rights until his release in 2012.
This data comes from COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) and the Land Crossings Authority, June 2011. Israel publicly posts all this information here.
Adbusters Spurious Gaza — Warsaw Ghetto Comparison, Honest Reporting