focus on gaza’s blockade

new episode of al jazeera’s “focus on gaza” with imran garda” this week shows the limitations of these international efforts to “break the siege.” they also report on the continuing siege and its effect on the fishermen of gaza. these gaza fishermen have not been allowed to work as a result of the seige as reported by irin:

A combination of damage to fishing resources caused by the Israeli offensive, and a restriction on the zone in which Gazans are allowed to fish is reducing catches and adversely affecting people’s diets in Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In January 2009 the Israeli authorities reduced the area in which fishermen can fish from six to three nautical miles from Gaza’s coastline.

In Rafah (southern Gaza) fishing has almost completely stopped due to the damage inflicted on fishing gear and boats during the 22-day war which ended on 18 January.

here is the episode:

of course the savagery directed against gaza by israeli terrorists is not over. not by a long shot. adam morrow and khaled moussa al-omrani detail the ongoing siege and bombing of gaza in recent weeks:

Almost two months after the war on the Gaza Strip, the border area between the battered coastal enclave and Egypt continues to come under frequent Israeli aerial bombardment. Israeli officials say the strikes target cross-border tunnels used to smuggle weapons to Palestinian resistance factions.

“Israel is still regularly launching air strikes on the border area,” Ibrahim Mansour, political analyst and executive editor-in-chief of independent daily Al-Dustour told IPS. “Such attacks represent a violation of all international rules and agreements, including the Egypt-Israel Camp David peace agreement.”

Throughout the course of Israel’s recent assault on the Gaza Strip (Dec. 27 to Jan. 17), the border zone between Egypt and Gaza was pummelled by hundreds of Israeli air strikes. Sources in the area also say that Egyptian airspace was repeatedly violated by Israeli aircraft during the campaign.

The onslaught officially ended with a unilateral ceasefire announcement by Israel. Since then, however, Israel has continued to strike at targets both inside the Gaza Strip – governed by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas – and along the strip’s 14-kilometre border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

“Air strikes on the border zone have continued on and off since the end of Israel’s war on Gaza,” Hatem Al-Bulk, local journalist and political activist told IPS. “Some weeks see as many as three or four strikes on the area.”

The last week has been no exception. According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Israeli aircraft bombed alleged smuggling tunnels on Sunday (Mar. 8 ) in retaliation against three rockets fired into Israel earlier the same day by Gaza-based resistance factions. On Wednesday (Mar. 11) Israeli warplanes again bombed the border area, injuring two Palestinians, according to Palestinian Health Ministry sources.

Local sources near Rafah, which straddles the border between Egyptian Sinai and the Gaza Strip, say the effects of the blasts are frequently felt on the Egyptian side of the divided town.

“Israel is using earth-penetrating munitions against targets in the border zone, explosions from which cause damage on the Egyptian side,” said Al- Bulk, a resident of Al-Arish, located some 40 kilometres west of the border. “Since the beginning of Israel’s assault on Gaza until now, hundreds of homes in Egyptian Rafah have been damaged as a result of Israeli bombardments.

“There are also suspicions that Israel might be using depleted uranium in some of these munitions, which could have a catastrophic effect on the local environment,” added Al-Bulk.

On Jan. 16 – a day before Israel’s unilateral ceasefire – the U.S. and Israel signed a memorandum of understanding with the ostensible aim of combating alleged arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. In general terms, the accord commits Washington to “accelerate its efforts to provide logistical and technical assistance and to train and equip regional security forces in counter-smuggling tactics.”

and yet the united states of terrorism wants to put conditions on aid that palestinians recognize the zionist entity on its palestinian usurped land (let me count the ways i loathe hillary clinton…):

Some $900 million pledged by the United States to the Palestinians will be withdrawn if the expected Palestinian Authority coalition government between Fatah and Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, Western and Israeli diplomats said Wednesday.

During her visit to the region last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas against forming a coalition with Hamas that will not meet the expectations of the Quartet.

Clinton told Abbas that Congress will not approve funding of a Palestinian government that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce violence. She added that if those requirements are not met the U.S.-funded program under the supervision of General Keith Dayton training PA security forces would be the first to be axed.

A combination of damage to fishing resources caused by the Israeli offensive, and a restriction on the zone in which Gazans are allowed to fish is reducing catches and adversely affecting people’s diets in Gaza, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In January 2009 the Israeli authorities reduced the area in which fishermen can fish from six to three nautical miles from Gaza’s coastline.

In Rafah (southern Gaza) fishing has almost completely stopped due to the damage inflicted on fishing gear and boats during the 22-day war which ended on 18 January.

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