“The majority of Gaza’s residents are dependent on aid all the time, not just during hostilities”

“On the ground, sweeping restrictions on movement have remained in place”. - Hary

“On the ground, sweeping restrictions on movement have remained in place”. – Hary

July 28, 2014. Deputy director of Gisha publishes an article in the Washington Institute’s Fikra Forum. “The current fixation on humanitarian aid obscures the fact that the majority of Gaza’s residents are dependent on aid all the time, not just during hostilities, due in large part to Israel’s access policy toward the territory”, writes Hary. “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said, since 2010, that Israel makes a distinction between the civilian population in Gaza and the Hamas authorities that took over in 2007. Yet on the ground, sweeping restrictions on movement that characterize Israel’s ‘economic warfare’ approach to Hamas […] have remained in place and continue to paralyze Gaza’s private sector.”

Also this morning, Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an op-ed by Gisha executive director, Eitan Diamond in which he addresses the calls to stop the supply of electricity and water to the Gaza Strip. “In the context of the ill wind that is being borne on waves of anger, hatred and fear, there has been a demand to disconnect Gaza from electricity and water, which are supplied by Israel”, Diamond writes. “This demand, which if met would be a disaster for the civilian population in the Strip, is in total contradiction to the dictates of morality, international law and the ruling of Israel’s High Court of Justice and yet, there is a legal scholar willing to defend it”.

In addition, on July 28, Politico published an op-ed by Gisha co-founder and former executive director, Sari Bashi. Closing off Gaza hasn’t made Israel safer”, Bashi writes, “Yet that’s exactly what Israel has gradually done for the past two decades, especially since the 2007 takeover of Gaza by the Hamas movement”.