Tag Archives: closure

Journey towards the Center of a Grim Reality

Articles recently published about the tunnel trade in the Gaza Strip describe the relatively new industry in an adventurous light, even daring – the Indiana Jones of the Middle East. However, the problem is that adopting this perspective may obscure the overall picture. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 2 Comments

What One Hand Giveth, the Other Hand Taketh Away

Since Israel sent a search and rescue team and doctors to help earthquake-devastated Haiti, op-eds and articles have praised Israel’s important provision of relief and also attempted to hold up a mirror to the country, showing closure-devastated Gaza just over our shoulder. Some in Israel asked, how is it that aid is rushed half a world away when children are living in half-destroyed homes just an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv? Continue reading

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Gaza’s Strawberries Taste Europe

Since the end of December 2009, 36 trucks loaded with strawberries and cut carnation flowers were permitted to leave Gaza for Israel’s Ashdod port, from which they were shipped to Europe. This is the first time since January 2008 that strawberries have managed to leave the 41 kilometer-long Strip. The flowers have been a little luckier – prior to December 2009, Israel permitted the export of 19 truckloads of flowers during the past 2.5 years of closure, mostly around Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods out of Gaza | 3 Comments

Who’s Afraid of a Tambourine?

Two months ago we wrote that Israel had prohibited the transfer of musical instruments into the Gaza Strip. In that post we quoted Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai’s response to a query submitted by Israeli parliamentarian Dov Khenin last July regarding the ban: “According to the information available, no applications to bring musical instruments into the Gaza Strip have been received for the past two years”, wrote the Deputy Defense Minister. Apparently we were mistaken – and so was the Deputy Defense Minister. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Has Israel forgotten the "reason" for Gaza's closure?

As news organizations report each detail of a possible prisoner release deal between Israel and Hamas, a related subject is receiving less attention: whether the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, would lead to an opening of Gaza’s crossings, closed to all but the bare minimum passage of people and goods. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza, Movement of people into Gaza, Movement of people out of Gaza | 1 Comment

Vaccinating Gaza

The closure of the Gaza Strip is tight enough to make life difficult for residents, but fences and checkpoints don’t prevent viruses from passing through, as became apparent earlier this month. Despite predictions that the closure of Gaza might protect it from exposure to the Swine Flu, the virus was identified in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, and already some 185 people have been diagnosed as infected, 13 of whom have died. Continue reading

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NEWSFLASH: The Israeli MFA isn't telling the whole truth

On December 6th, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a newsletter highlighting the economic situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Though there are some miscalculations, for the most part the MFA’s data are accurate. The real problem is that the numbers appear without context. In this week’s post we provide context for the MFA’s (mostly) correct numbers. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 6 Comments

Surf's Up

It’s become almost common knowledge that on any given day, anywhere from 40-50 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage flow from Gaza’s sewage treatment plants into the Mediterranean Sea, and an additional 20 million liters seep into the ground, threatening other water sources. The treatment plants, due to crossings policies blocking supply of fuel and spare parts, intermittent electricity supply, and years of de-development, are struggling to treat 70 million liters of sewage produced by Gaza’s 1.5 million residents each day. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

Running Out of Gas

The severe shortage of cooking gas in the Gaza Strip has attracted scant media and public attention over the past two months. Generally, since the closure was imposed in 2007, the average monthly amount of cooking gas that Israel allows into the Strip has met only 56% of needs in Gaza. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 5 Comments

Who Has the Right to a Notebook?

This week the Israeli Foreign Ministry boasted that Israel has allowed “a large quantity of educational tools such as notebooks, backpacks, writing tools, and textbooks” into the Gaza Strip in the last month. The Foreign Ministry wrote that: “Through COGAT and the Gaza DCL, Israel makes great efforts to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip, and for this reason the recent transfer was facilitated at the request of the organization [UNRWA].” Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 4 Comments