The Gaza Blockade, a very important aspect of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, was began about 3 years ago by Israel and Egypt to contain Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that controls Gaza. The Israeli raid on the Free Gaza Flotilla last week has refocused international attention on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and Gaza's isolation. There are international leaders questioning reasons for continuing the blockade. It is called inhumane oppression by some critics. Those in support say the blockade is essential to prevent rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli soil.
Article Resource: Gaza blockade 2010 by Free Gaza Flotilla a PR victory for Hamas.
Israeli raid investigation wanted by UN
The United Nations, European leaders and many others criticized Israel after its commandos stormed six ships in international waters. About 700 activists were trying to break the Gaza Blockade by bringing in 10,000 tons of aid. Voice of The US reports that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the violence aboard the Turkish ship could have been avoided if Israel had heeded earlier calls to lift the Gaza Blockade, which has prevented essential goods from reaching Gaza's 1.5 million residents. Ban said he is considering having an investigation put into the Israeli raid that resulted within the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists.
Israel defends Gaza Blockade
Israel says it allows more than enough food, medicine and supplies into Gaza and suggests that there be no independent investigation of the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. It was reported by the Associated Press that Israel also rejects claims that Gaza is within the midst of a humanitarian crisis. In an address to his nation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the aim of the flotilla was to break the blockade, not to bring aid to Gaza. "This was not the 'Love Boat'," Netanyahu told every person, "It was a hate boat." Israel says its soldiers were acting in self-defense because passengers attacked them when the commandos rappelled onto the ship from helicopters.
Hamas wins by losing
The attack on the Free Gaza Flotilla is shaping up as the latest public relations coup for all of the militant organizations dedicated to antagonizing Israel. In 2006 Hezbollah which is a gun-toting, grenade-throwing Islamist political organization, scored a victory over Israel merely by surviving an onslaught it sought to provoke in southern Lebanon that devastated the countryside. Hamas, which regularly terrorizes Israel with rocket attacks from Gaza, seems to escape international rebuke for that misbehavior. In the mean time, Israel finds itself in lose-lose situations when it claims to be just defending itself. Netanyahu has warned that if the blockade ends, hundreds of ships will bring in thousands of missiles that come from Iran to be aimed at Israel.
Israel gives gift to its enemies
The situation created by the Gaza Blockade and the Free Gaza Flotilla creates a geopolitical Rubik's Cube for the United States. America's relationships in the Middle East may have to be reset to a shifting balance of power that now sees Turkey -- a non-Arab country who gained massive Middle East street cred by sanctioning the blockade -- as the linchpin. Israel is definitely the loser. Hamas is the only winner. It was reported by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace the U.S., Egypt and even the Palestinian Authority had been betting on the weakening and eventual demise of Hamas. Hamas can operate from a position of strength, ironically, because of Israel.
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