Gaza Update: Collective Punishment Continues

24 Jul 2009

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On 30 June 2009, "Spirit of Humanity," a ship carrying activists from eleven countries with humanitarian aid for Gaza was hijacked by Israeli forces and forcefully prohibited from completing its mission. 

On 15 July 2009,  a convoy of 200 human rights activists managed to drive a truck caravan into Gaza after ten days of delays and harassment at the hands of Egyptian and US officials, reports Laura Flanders of GRITtv.

Flanders speaks to Huwaida Arraf, a human rights lawyer, who was on the hijacked ship and Jerusalem based Christopher Gunnes, spokesperson for the United Nations Releif and Works Agency (UNRWA) about the situation in Gaza six months after Israel's "Operation Lead Cast" all but destroyed the occupied Palestinian territory.

The focus of the discussion is what progress, if any, is being made in the Obama era's diplomatic forays with Israel.

As the American government and other international authorities tacitly condone Israeli aggression towards the Palestinians with their gentle chiding of Israel's settlement expansion, conditions in the occupied territories are deteriorating drastically.

Gazan survivors of the assault remain trapped and unable to rebuild their lives due to the ongoing blockade imposed by Israel, report both Arraf and Gunnes.

In part two of the programme, Gunnes argues, "The Gaza situation is the test of the collective humanity of all of us and when I see what is happening today, I have to wonder seriously whether we are not all failing." 

You can also view  footage of the Israeli soldiers hijacking the ship "Spirit of Humanity", in part two of the programme.

To watch part two of this programme, please click here.

Editor's Note: "Israel’s foreign ministry is reported to be establishing a special undercover team of paid workers whose job it will be to surf the internet 24 hours a day spreading positive news about Israel," reports Jonathan Cook in his article Twitterers Paid To Spread Israeli Propaganda.

While Sayed Dhansay highlights the cosy relationship between South Africa's post-apartheid government and the Israeli government, which includes military cooperation, in his article, Why is South Africa still helping apartheid Israel?

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