JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Two more flotillas will attempt to break Israel's blockade of Gaza, organizers said.
The new convoys, organized by the Free Gaza movement and the Turkish pro-Palestinian organization IHH, will leave in the spring and have been dubbed Freedom Flotilla 2, according to reports. An official announcement will be made later this week, Haaretz reported Monday.
The groups also organized the May 31 flotilla that was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos, with the ensuing violence leading to the deaths of nine Turkish activists.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel told the United States in 2008 that it planned to keep Gaza's economy "on the brink of collapse," according to a diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks.
The cable, one of three on the topic from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Washington, said that "As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to (U.S. embassy economic officers) on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge."
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What was the most ignored story of 2010?
Only a handful of mainstream newspapers covered the Palestinian claims to the Western Wall and Rachel’s Tomb; or that Palestinian rockets were still landing in Israel; or the 1930s level of anti-Semitism in the official Palestinian media; or the Palestinian claims that Haifa and Sderot are occupied territory; let alone not covering the transcendent beauty of daily religious life and Jewish culture in Israel.
(JTA) -- An international aid convoy entered Gaza from Egypt.
The Viva Palestina convoy of nearly 140 vehicles, $5 million in aid and 370 passengers from 30 countries, entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Thursday afternoon. The convoy reportedly was carrying school and medical supplies.
The convoy left more than a month ago from London, travelling by land and sea through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria before reaching Egypt.
Gaza has been under a naval blockade by Israel since Hamas took over the coastal strip in 2007.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) severely modified a report by its Middle East Study Committee widely seen as anti-Israel, rejected calls for divestment from Israel and gave a conditional okay to Israel's Gaza blockade.
But the report approved by a 558-119 vote at the Church's General Assembly in Minneapolis also called for linking U.S. aid to Israel to an end of settlement expansion.
Critics of Israel’s Gaza blockade are too quick to ignore the harsh realities leaders in Jerusalem face in dealing with a Hamas government that has turned Gaza into a launching pad for new terrorist attacks — and which continues to hold kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is "irresponsible."
"Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so," a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter's question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. "Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances."