Thursday, 27 May 2010


ABOUT three-quarters of the damage inflicted by Israel in its war on Gaza more than a year ago has not been repaired or rebuilt the United Nations confirmed last weekend.
In a new report, the UN Development Programme observed that Israel continues to bar construction material from entering the coastal enclave as part of an overall blockade of the territory, which is home to over 1.3 million Palestinians.
It is said that Gazans have carried out small-scale repairs worth £120 million with recycled rubble or material smuggled through border tunnels that are frequently targeted by Israeli air strikes.

"Many members of the international community, including the UN, have refrained, thus far from utilising materials identified as coming through the tunnels, subsequently limiting their role in reconstruction, " the report continued.
It added that, while "some recovery is taking place, the realities on the ground show that the international community is by and large , rendered ineffective in addressing the needs of the people in Gaza".
Meanwhile thousands of wellwishers thronged Istanbul's port last Saturday as three cargo vessels loaded with aid set off to join in an International solidarity fleet bound for Gaza.
A total of 9 vessels were scheduled to cast anchor at Gaza docks today with 5,000 tons of construction material, medical equipment and school supplies, as well as around 600 people from 40 countries.
Yet the state of Israel has already made itself clear , telling their ambassadors that the flotilla will not be allowed to disembark in Gaza. This despite increasing criticism from the wider International Community.
Top military officials have stated that their navy will intercept these ships bringing much needed relief to a people under siege.
Israeli peace group Gush Shalom have urged the authorities not to interfere with the flotilla. We will have to wait and see.
"The whole world is watching" the group has said. " Israel has no interest in flooding international television channels with pictures of sailors and Israeli commandos fighting with peace activists and humanitarian aid activists many of whom are well known in their countries."
There are still a lot of people who don't realise how under siege Gaza is and the amount of their dire circumstances, perhaps this peace convoy might highlight the issue, I do hope so.
It is commendable too, that two musicians I much admire, Gil Scot Heron and Elvis Costello announced their intentions not to play in Israel recently, Costello recognising the message of his song -" Peace Love and Understanding " would possibly not be appreciated there, and joining with the internationalists in recognising the injustices bought about under Israel's name.
Progressive people within Israel are pressing from within, it is wrong to tar them all with the sins of their leaders. To these people and the people of Gaza I offer my voice of solidarity.

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