Israel tells EU delegation “Go Home!”

Israeli officials take great umbrage when anyone accuses them of occupying Gaza.

“We unilaterally disengaged from Gaza in 2005, removed our settlers and soldiers, what more do you want?  We are NOT occupying Gaza.”

Hamas apparently agrees that Gaza is not occupied, or so they said in 2011.

Netanyahu’s government is also trying to make the argument that the West Bank is not occupied, contrary to international law and world opinion.

A report by a committee formed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to examine the legal aspects of West Bank land ownership rejects the claim that Israel’s presence in the territory is that of an occupying force and asserts that its settlements and settlement outposts there are legal.

Children in Gaza
Children in Gaza

So what should we make of Israel’s refusal this week to allow a delegation of EU Parliamentarians into Gaza?

Six members of an EU Parliament delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council were due to visit Gaza from Oct. 27-30 in a trip largely focused on social, economic and humanitarian issues, including visits to UNRWA health centers, schools, food distribution centers, rehabilitation centers and sports clubs.

The MEPs, from a cross-section of political parties representing six EU member states, were informed in an email by Israeli authorities that they would not be allowed into Gaza via the Erez crossing for the three-day visit, which also included trips to Christian schools, a sports clubs and the University of Palestine.

Israel asserts that the proposed visit by the EU delegation will strengthen Hamas, but I suspect this rejection might be a childish game of tit-for-tat following the EU’s proclamation this summer regarding trade with Israel.

Israel says who can enter and exit Gaza. Israel decides what food, goods and materials can pass through to Gaza, and lets virtually no exports out. Israeli soldiers shoot and kill Palestinian fishermen who exceed the arbitrary 3 km distance from shore. Palestinian farmers who tend their lands near the arbitrary buffer zone risk their lives as well. Israeli drones fly over the skies in Gaza night and day.

Street mural in Gaza
Street mural in Gaza

Is Israel occupying Gaza or not?  They can’t have it both ways.

The good thing about the ceasefire following the November 2012 bombardment was that “by agreeing to negotiate freedom of movement for Gazans, Israel admitted – with the whole world watching – that 1.7 million Gazans are not free. A victory for truth in the “information war.”

This week Israel proves once more who is the jailer and who is the prisoner. Apparently, the prisoner has no visitation rights in Gaza.

Street mural in Gaza
Street mural in Gaza
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6 Comments

Filed under Economic Development, Gaza, Israel, Occupation

6 responses to “Israel tells EU delegation “Go Home!”

  1. So why didn’t they enter through the Egyptian border?
    Egypt has a border with Gaza. Egypt says who can enter and exit Gaza. Egypt decides what food, goods and materials can pass through to Gaza, and lets virtually no exports out. How about a word on Egypt?

    • Most observers believe that Egypt and Israel coordinate closely who and what enters through the Rafah border. I will write another blog post about the extent of this coordination.

      • I thought it was well known that the coordination is pretty tight and that Egypt and Israel are proud in the peace agreement they have and in their joint resistance to the extremists, who are doing what they can to damage the peace between the former enemies.
        While you’re writing, could you refer to the observers who don’t believe Egypt and Israel coordinate closely? I’m interested to know who are the people who “observe” that Egypt and Israel are not coordinating, because that would be a violation of the agreement the EU vouched for.

      • My response was an answer to your question — why don’t Palestinians enter through their border with Egypt?

        You were trying to deflect the onus of the occupation and siege from being Israel’s sole responsibility.

      • Exactly. Since Egypt has a border with Gaza, its not Israel’s sole responsibility. And since there are no Israeli forces in Gaza, there is no occupation, as even the Hamas recognizes. The siege is a direct consequence of the actions of Hamas, the rulers of Gaza. It is Hamas who have engaged in conflict with all their neigbours – Israel and Egypt, it is Hamas who is suppressing and mistreating the population of Gaza.

  2. Hope the UN or someone can set Israel straight I will not buy anything from Israel. Wish we could say when we pay our US taxes that none of my money should go to Israel in any way, shape or form.

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