The cruelty in Gaza continues

Reader JJ reminds me that while we celebrate Obama's victory and a new mood of hope and optimism in the US, the people of the Gaza strip have little to celebrate and even less reason for hope and optimism:

The UN has no more food to distribute in the Gaza Strip, the head of relief efforts in the area has warned.

John Ging said handouts for 750,000 Gazans would have to be suspended until Saturday at the earliest, and called Gaza's economic situation "a disaster".

Israel earlier denied entry to a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies.

It has prevented the transfer of all goods into Gaza for nearly a week, blaming continuing rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) distributes emergency aid to about half of Gaza's 1.5m population.

"We have run out [of food aid] this evening," said Mr Ging, Unrwa's senior official in Gaza.

"Unless the crossing points open... we won't be able to get that food into Gaza," he told Reuters news agency.

Also on Thursday, Israel refused permission for a group of senior European diplomats to visit the coastal enclave.

It has also prevented journalists, including those from the BBC, from entering the territory.

Limited supplies of fuel were sent over on Tuesday after Gaza's only power plant ran out of diesel. (BBC)

Each side blames the other for violating a fragile truce between Israel and the Gazan Hamas government. It's no longer possible to tell who threw the first stone (literally and figuratively). The paradoxically accurate answer is probably that both of them did. The more important point here is what is happening to the 1.5 million Gazans who only want to get on with a normal life. The Israelis are performing collective punishment on a people. It was evil when done to Jews, Poles, Ukrainians and others by the Germans. It is evil when done by Israelis. The Egyptians are tacitly complicit.

This is a cruel lockdown committed by a cruel government. Let's hope upcoming Israeli elections will bring a small measure of sanity to that government, just as the just completed US elections promise to do.

Meanwhile the cruelty continues.

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I'm in the middle of Robert Fisk's impressive Middle East history/memoir, The Great War for Civilization, and plowing through the chapters on Israel and the Palestinians. While it's very easy to find mendacity, hatred and appalling leadership on both sides, the Israelis - and the Americans who fund them - really deserve some sort of prize for hypocrisy and callousness.

Prize quote from an Israeli "settler":

You people should write that a rock is like unto a lethal weapon. It's the same as a bullet. Someone who throws a rock at a bus is trying to murder fifty people.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 14 Nov 2008 #permalink

Dear Mr.Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Why don't you help Palestinian?
Palestinian is one of the independent movement too, same as Tibetan.
As concerns independence movement Palestinian is colleague of Tibetan, isn't it?
Palestinian needs your help.

Does Tibetan want to be helped by another, through Tibetan doesn't help another?
Remember please 蜘蛛の糸(The Spider's Thread) writen by 芥川龍之介(Akutagawa Ryunosuke).