Israel Tightens Illegal Gaza Blockade
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Blockades are acts of war, Gazans entrapped for over 11 years, the world community failing to intervene responsibly, largely ignoring Israeli high crimes.
Law Professor Francis Boyle earlier explained that “international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of the belligerent use of force even against third party nations in enforcing the blockade,” adding:
“Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that delineate the international rules of warfare.”
Dwight Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, and other past US presidents called blockades acts of war.
So did earlier Supreme Court decisions. Boyle earlier cited The Prize Cases (1863) as the most definitive ruling on this issue, calling a blockade “an act of war…legal only if properly authorized under the Constitution.”
Hamas and others in Gaza pose no threat to Israel. Blockading the Strip is solely for political reasons, unrelated to Israeli security, imposing it a flagrant breach of international law – an Israeli specially, ignoring the UN Charter and Security Council rulings against its actions.
On Monday, Netanyahu tightened Israel’s illegal blockade on Gaza, ordering closure of the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing, the main passageway for vital goods to enter the Strip.
Limited amounts of humanitarian goods alone will be let in, far less than what’s essential for two million Gazans – held hostage to Israeli viciousness, under concentration camp conditions.
Claiming closure is in response to flaming kites igniting fires in Israel, Netanyahu said he acted “(i)n agreement with” war minister Lieberman.
He ignored why Gazans engage in the practice – responding to IDF mass murder of peaceful demonstrators during weeks of Great March of Return activism, injuring countless thousands more, high crimes gone unpunished.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blasted Netanyahu’s move, calling it “a new crime against humanity.”
Netanyahu indicated further toughness coming, saying “I have no intention to prematurely announce all of the steps we are taking. There will be other steps which I won’t detail.”
As of now, all imports into and exports from the Strip are halted – other than what Israel allows in on a case-by-case basis.
Gaza fishermen will be more restricted than already, their right to fish in their own wars severely limited, their lives and security threatened by constant Israeli harassment and attacks.
According to expert on Gaza’s economy Mohammed Abu Jiyab, closure of Kerem Shalom “will lead to the collapse of an economy already in crisis, bankrupt many businesses in the strip, and cost a loss of jobs that will worsen unemployment and seriously hurt the service sector.”
Humanitarian crisis conditions stalk the Strip. Netanyahu’s move assures worsening things more than already, heading it for total collapse – while the world community yawns and does nothing, supporting what demands condemnation by inaction.
B’Tselem calls “Israel’s regime of occupation…inextricably bound up in human rights violations” – illegally blockaded Gazans suffering most of all.
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