Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Gaza Worsens

Tensions between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel have only grown since Hamas ousted Fatah over the summer. Rocket fire from Gaza has led Israel to declare the entire strip an "enemy entity" justifying cutting off power and fuel supplies to the Palestinians living there:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday the United States ''will not abandon the innocent Palestinians in Gaza,'' shortly after Israel declared the territory to be an enemy entity in order to cut off power and fuel supplies to the coastal strip.

At the same time, Rice said Gaza, ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas group, ''is a hostile entity to us as well.''

Israel's Security Cabinet -- the country's top political and defense ministers -- did not set a date for a cutoff. A statement from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said Israel did not intend to provoke a humanitarian crisis.

That may not be the intention, but it most certainly will be the result. Gaza is densely populated with some of the poorest people on Earth, and such measures will only worsen an already bad situation. For what it's worth Israel's actions can be considered "collective punishment", which is illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, a treaty which Israel is a signatory to. For its part, Hamas regards the decision as an act of war.


adam said...

Since Israel has defied so much international law, shouldn't we invade them (since that is apparently one of the retroactive reasons we went into Iraq)?

clearthought said...

Nice post. I also blogged about Israel's latest blunder. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon isn't too happy about the "enemy entity" label either.

Mr Bagel said...

Please tell me where you get the information that:
"Gaza is densely populated with some of the poorest people on Earth"

Why is it that Palestinians obtain more refugee aid per person than any other group of people?

Are you really trying to tell me that Palestinians in Gaza are worst of than the starving in the Sudan or some other parts of Africa? or the refugees in Darfur?

Part of the Reason why Gaza has been declared a 'enemy entity' is because terrorists with the consent of Hamas are firing rockets at citizens in Israel. Which to me might be termed 'collective punishment'.

Please tell me one country in the world that supplies electricity, gas and water to a population who are so intent on destroying the very country that supplies these services.

Again we see the use of double standards.

Rather than spew forth 'so called facts' do a little research.

Xanthippas said...

There is no double standard. The act of isolated terrorists firing rockets into Israel is not the same as Israel cutting off fuel supplies and electricity. One act harms the tiny minority of people who live in danger of rockets, the other harms an entire people. The first act is an act of terrorism by terrorists, the second is an act of retribution by a state that is designed to punish an entire people.

Whatever justification Israel has in acting (and it has plenty, as no state should tolerate repeated terrorist attacks) it is not justifiable that they should then in return deprive the Palestinians living in Gaza of basic necessities of life like fuel and power. That's why such an act is illegal under international law, because democratic states have decided that it is wrong to punish a whole people for the acts of a few of their members.

As for them being among the poorest people on Earth, do not assume that I do not do my research. That premise is based on this World Bank report from 2001. Things haven't gotten any better. That is a plain fact, even if you think they fare well in comparison to refugees living in camps.