Sunday, June 13, 2010

13-Jun-10: Blockade on Gaza? Leave it there say Palestinian Authority and Egypt

Contrary to what most people seem to think, the government of Egypt and the Mahmoud Abbas regime both believe the blockade of Gaza is best left in place.

From today's Haaretz:
Published 13.06.10
Abbas to Obama: I'm against lifting the Gaza naval blockade
The Palestinian president reportedly told Obama that lifting the naval blockade of Gaza would bolster Hamas, a move that shouldn't be done at this stage.
By Barak Ravid

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip because this would bolster Hamas, according to what he told United States President Barack Obama during their meeting at the White House Wednesday. Egypt also supports this position... European diplomats updated by the White House on the talks said that Abbas had stressed to Obama the need of opening the border crossings into the Gaza Strip and the easing of the siege, but only in ways that do not bolster Hamas.

One of the points that Abbas raised is that the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Strip should not be lifted at this stage. The European diplomats said Egypt has made it clear to Israel, the U.S and the European Union that it is also opposes the lifting of the naval blockade because of the difficulty in inspecting the ships that would enter and leave the Gaza port.

Abbas told Obama that actions easing the blockage should be done with care and undertaken gradually so it will not be construed as a victory for Hamas. The Palestinian leader also stressed that the population in the Gaza Strip must be supported, and that pressure should be brought to bear on Israel to allow more goods, humanitarian assistance and building materials for reconstruction. Abbas, however, said this added aid can be done by opening land crossings and other steps that do not include the lifting of the naval blockade.

On Friday, Netanyahu met with Quartet representative Tony Blair in his office. This was the third meeting between the two during the last eight days, and centered on ways of easing the blockade on the Strip.
We wonder whether this makes the Egyptians and the Palestinians anti-humanitarian? And if so, what the humanitarians of Europe and the Arab world are planning to do about it?

The rest of the article is here.

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