The Gaza siege myth
18 March, 2010
Amid ‘siege' claims, Gaza enjoying more aid than quake-ravaged Haiti
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is set to arrive in Israel to visit the Gaza Strip amidst demands to end a so-called siege on the terrorist-controlled territory. Yet one has to ask what siege, or blockade, he is referring to, with 738,576 tons of humanitarian aid being transferred into the Gaza Strip in 2009.
Moreover, the UN has provided $200 million in Gaza Strip aid following a military operation that reportedly claimed 1,300 fatalities amongst a population of less than 1.5 million - meanwhile, notwithstanding plans to raise more funds, it has provided only $10 million to natural disaster victims in Haiti as of the end of January, an earthquake that claimed the lives of over 230,000 people and affected over 3 million. Of course, that is without mentioning that Haitians have not been attacking an innocent nearby civilian population for a near decade.
The international community has bought into a bold-faced lie about an Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip while ignoring the facts on the ground. International humanitarian aid has been flowing rapidly into the Gaza Strip for years and in no way stopped after Operation Cast Lead, as 30,576 aid trucks entered the territory in 2009. In 2009, 4,883 tons of medical equipment entered the Gaza Strip. Just last month, a new CAT scan machine was brought into the Strip.
The world's largest prison?
The Gaza Strip has also been referred to as "the world's largest prison", implying that residents are not being able to exit the territory. Yet in 2009, 10,544 patients and their companions left the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in Israel, and last week alone nearly 500 patients and companions from Gaza entered Israel for treatment.
Meanwhile, US government officials such as Congressmen Keith Ellison and Brian Baird, both of which visited Sderot with the Sderot Media Center, have promoted the idea of a "Gaza Siege." They must be ignoring the fact that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged $900 million in aid to be sent to the Gaza Strip following Operation Cast Lead. A USAID and DOD report calculating the aid sent to the quake-raved Haiti noted that, as of last month, all US government programs provided just over $700 million in aid, nearly $200 million less than to the terrorist-controlled Gaza Strip.
Over a year has passed since Operation Cast Lead and the international community is still buying into the lie about a "Gaza Siege." Meanwhile, the Sderot Media Center has reported that over 320 rockets and mortars have hit Israel in that same year. Indeed, Ban Ki-moon should be visiting Kibbutz Nirim to see where a rocket destroyed a building just last week, instead of helping promote a myth by visiting the Gaza Strip.
Jacob Shrybman is the Assistant Director of the Sderot Media Center, http://www.sderotmedia.org.il/