What Have Strawberries Got to Do with the Israeli Blockade of Gaza?
We keep on hearing about the Gaza blockade, about how Israel has put the population of Gaza in an open-air prison and we do not let people out or products in. Well, someone in Israel apparently did not get that memo. Look what was reported in an article posted on 12 December 2019:
In the Gaza Strip, the season for growing and marketing strawberries began last month — and it is already setting new precedents. After recent weeks saw the first-ever shipment of Gazan strawberries to the Gulf countries, today (Tuesday) five tons of strawberries left the Gaza Strip for England — through Ben Gurion Airport, as arranged by the COGAT’s Gaza CLA.
COGAT is the Coordination of [Israeli] Government Activities [with the PA] in the Territories, and the CLA is Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza.
Next time someone says that the Israeli Gaza blockade is strangling the people there and preventing them from earning a decent living, show them this image:
You will not find agricultural products leaving Gaza via the border crossing into Egypt, you know. You will not find an Egyptian government agency helping promote the economic development of Gaza, you know.
And just in case you were wondering, the UN webpage that calls what is going on in Gaza a blockade, reported that, in 2019, 192,000 Gazans exited Gaza via Israel’s Erez border crossing. Ninety-five percent of these were for business and trade purposes, 3% for medical treatments [in Israel mostly], and the remainder for a variety of reasons. The number of Gazans let into Egypt via Rafiah border crossing was 78,000, less than half the number of business people admitted into Israel, and with no breakdown regarding reasons for their travel. Interestingly, that is only slightly more than the number of people Israel let enter Israel via Erez in the year, 2014, the year in which the democratically elected Hamas waged an out-and-out war against us.
And just in case you were wondering this too: the movement of people and goods that the world does not believe is happening — because, after all, Gaza is an open-air prison — is taking place while explosive-laden balloons are being sent across the border into Israel on the wings of off-shore winds. These balloons are the latest in the creative terrorist tools invented by the Arabs of Gaza. They are a colourful alternative to the missiles they still occasionally lob our way in spite of the supposed ceasefire.
I have said it before: Israel is terrible at maintaining a blockade. We are softies. And in spite of that, the international media still portrays us as inhumane because we restrict the movement of dual-purpose materials into Gaza, suggesting that we do not let anything in. Dual-purpose is a euphemism for materials that can be used for construction of houses and roads, for example, and also for the construction of terror-tunnels. I, for one, am glad that we are vigilent.