“The need for hope is also an Israeli and regional security interest”
On December 21, 2014, Gisha executive director, Eitan Diamond, gave an interview to Israeli television weekend magazine by Channel 2 News. “Up until 2007, 85% of the goods originating in Gaza that were sold outside the Strip were shipped to Israel or the West Bank”, Diamond said in Ohad Hemo’s report (Hebrew) on the changes in Israel’s policy on the sale of agricultural goods from Gaza in the West Bank and the rate at which construction materials are entering Gaza. “These markets were completely closed off and haven’t even been an option for Gaza since 2007. As a result, sales outside the Strip have gone down dramatically. If more than a thousand truckloads left Gaza (every month) before 2007, the number is now a small fraction of what it was”.
Adv. Diamond was also interviewed for a story about Gaza’s reconstruction (Hebrew) in Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot’s weekend supplement. “The residents’ need for hope is also an Israeli and regional security interest”, Adv. Diamond told reporter Oded Shalom. “Opening the gates for the sale of Gaza goods in the West Bank is a beginning, as is the approval for the sale of construction materials to the Strip, but repairing the destruction brought by last summer’s fighting and the damage of years of closure requires a much greater effort than what has been seen on the ground in the four months since the fighting ended”.
Last week, Gisha co-founder, Sari Bashi, was interviewed (Hebrew) for the IDF Radio show Security Strip, in honor of her receiving the Emil Grunzweig Human Rights Award: “The closure has failed”, Adv. Bashi told Jacky Hugi, “It has failed morally, politically and militarily. The rhetoric has changed a great deal: even the Chief of Staff and the Minister of Defense have said they want to enable reconstruction in Gaza. The trouble is that, so far, we have only seen cosmetic changes, rather than the overhaul that is needed”.