Monday, September 24, 2012
Gaza and the tunnels, it's not a question of food anymore
A Gaza tunnel (photo Moises Saman/New York Times)
Gaza Gateway wants to correct the perception that Israel is still stopping food items from entering Gaza:
In a story published last week, Reuters reported about Hamas’s efforts to prevent Egypt from closing down the tunnels in the Sinai desert. The story includes quotes from “tunnel owners” who say that “80 percent of food sold in Gaza comes through the tunnels”. Since the reporter did not qualify these statements, we wish to clarify the facts, and it won’t be the first time.
Untrue, according to Gaza Gateway:
There have been no restrictions on bringing food into the Gaza Strip via Israel since 2010, however, Israel continues to impose restrictions on sale of goods outside the Strip and on travel between Gaza and the West Bank. The myth that Israel is still preventing food from entering the Gaza Strip has to be shattered; if not for the sake of accuracy, then because it diverts attention away from Gaza’s real problems. Gaza may not have a food shortage, but employment is certainly in short supply. Israel may now allow coriander into the Gaza Strip, but it still makes it very difficult for Gaza residents to maintain normal family ties with their relatives in the West Bank, or take advantage of the higher education, employment and business opportunities available there. These problems are serious enough. They can and should be addressed, but it is difficult to have a serious discussion about them when the same myth needs debunking over and over again.