Israeli Peace Blog Gush Shalom Applauds Opening of Rafah Border

30.05.11 – 12:44 | PNN – Palestine News Network

Gaza-PNN- Victoria Delacroix- In a press release by an Israeli peace blog called Gush Shalom, said the opening of the border crossing between Egypt and Gaza is a death blow to the siege in Gaza and a step in a new and hopeful direction for not just the Gazans that have been subjected to this siege, but also all Palestinians in the occupied territories.


Former MK, turned Gush Shalom activist, Uri Avnery said, “It is time to recognize reality:  the siege of Gaza, which caused great suffering to the population and did not bring any benefit to Israel, collapsed following the Egyptian revolution.”

The press release underlined that it is only natural for a Palestinian state to, “seek to establish a port in Gaza, just as Israel did in Haifa and Ashdod.”

Gush Shalom stressed that the idea of having Israeli navy ships patrolling the shores and enforcing the blockade is not only illogical but has brought devastating losses to the local economy, especially the fisheries.

“It’s time to bring back the Navy ships from off the Gaza coast, stop the harassing of Palestinian fishermen and allow the next flotilla to proceed.”

This statement comes at an especially crucial time, since the Freedom Flotilla II, a group of boats sailing from different ports from all around Europe announced their intention to set sail to Gaza in the coming weeks. Gush Shalom pleaded that policies should be changed so as to avoid another disastrous international incident, like the one a year ago that left nine civilians dead and left Israel at odds with the majority of the international community that was outraged by the incident.

“In that way could be avoided another confrontation in the middle of the sea, which even if it would this time not end with bloodshed, would certainly further damage Israel’s already shaken image.”

Israel has undertaken a commitment to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as being a single territorial unit, and allowing safe passage between the two areas. However, again and again that promise has been thrown out the window. Israel had signed and agreed to it therefore, they must be held to that promise.

The press release was also scathingly critical of the current Israeli leadership and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stubbornness and apparent lack of willingness to move forward with concrete peace plans.

“If the prime minister intends to establish a Palestinian state in reality and not only in empty words and speeches it should be clear that the independent Palestinian state will build and develop the Port of Gaza and receive their ships from all over the world.”

Gush Shalom concluded that, “Those who intend a real Palestinian state and not empty words must remember that this would be a state including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, linked by a safe passage.”



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