GISHA: Israel Can Stop Flotilla; Not Goods and Passengers

 

PNN – Palestine News Network  | 23.06.11 – 11:39

Gaza -PNN- Victoria Delacroix- In a press release by GISHA- The Legal Center for Human Rights announced that after an entire year after easing the border closure on Gaza, the Israeli military is determined to stop the Freedom Flotilla II, but may be willing to let through civilian goods and passengers.

The press release firmly stated that,

“As an occupying power in the Gaza Strip, Israel may prevent ships from reaching Gaza shoreline. However, exercising this power imposes on Israel an obligation to allow passage of goods and people through other means.”

GISHA also stated that the maritime closure that is a apart of the overall blockade has placed unlawful restrictions on the residents of Gaza.

The press release stated that if Israel is to respect the residents of Gaza, especially their right to freedom of movement, then Israel and its military must,

“Israel must allow travel between Gaza and the West Bank, the entry of building materials in Gaza and the exports of goods from the Strip- subject to individual security screening.”

GISHA also stated that this in turn gives Gazan residents the chance to lead a productive economic, social and cultural life, which are their basic rights, basic rights that Israel should respect and abide by.

The press release goes on further to elaborate that even though in 2010, Israel had indeed ‘eased’ the blockade and started to allow commercial goods and raw materials into the Strip, there has been little evidence to support this.

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“Israel continues to prevent the entry of building materials, allowing exceptions for international organizations that amount to 7% of the need.”

This is especially significant since on Wednesday the UN had announced that Israel was finally allowing materials to be shipped to Gaza for the purpose of rebuilding 1,200 homes and 18 new schools in the Southern Gaza Strip.

GISHA also underlined that all commercial goods exported out of Gaza have been under a ban, which has severely crippled the economy and contributed to a high unemployment rate.

“Under international law, Israel is obligated to allow free passage of commercial goods and people to and from Gaza- subject to individual security screening.”

GISHA concluded that over 70% of the residents that live in Gaza rely on international humanitarian aid, which enters through the crossings with Israel, and that they have the right to receive goods and assistance as well as be able to export their goods.

Sources: GISHA | Source

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