Gaza blockade

U.S. Calls Flotillas to Gaza ‘Irresponsible’

06/24/2010

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."

U.S. State Department Warns Against Travel in Israel

06/22/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The U.S. State Department warned Americans to "exercise a high degree of caution" while traveling in highly trafficked areas in Israel.

It also said that Americans should avoid West Bank demonstrations because of dangers posed by Israeli troops dispersing protesters, and should not attempt to enter the Gaza Strip by sea.

Reaction Mixed to Israeli Announcement on Easing of Gaza Blockade

06/22/2010
JTA

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's decision to loosen its blockade on Gaza is drawing both praise and criticism.

Israel's security Cabinet on Sunday voted to ease land-based civilian imports to the Gaza Strip; the naval blockade will remain in place.

The move garnered praise from the White House, which released a statement Sunday saying it welcomed the new policy toward Gaza.

In Congress, J Street, AIPAC fight over Gaza flotilla letters

Update: I had a call this afternoon from an AIPACer who took me to task for writing that the 79 Senators who signed the AIPAC-endorsed letter - now over 80 - was "not a slam dunk."

Point taken; getting 4/5 of the Senate to sign anything is no mean achievement.

San Francisco Protesters Prevent Israeli Ship from Unloading

06/21/2010

(JTA) -- Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Port of Oakland to prevent an Israeli cargo ship from unloading.

About 500 protesters gathered at the port at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday to meet the Zim shipping lines cargo ship. They convinced dockworkers to agree not to unload the ship when it arrived in the port.

The ship did not arrive until 6 p.m. on Sunday. A second shift of dockworkers, at the request of the demonstrators, agreed not to cross the picket line and did not arrive to unload the ship.

Pols: Keep Flotilla Crew Out Of U.S.

06/17/2010
Staff Writer

Just steps from the site of last month’s attempted Times Square bombing, a group of lawmakers gathered Monday to express concern that three people they called terrorists may be planning to come to the United States.

The three were aboard one of the six Gaza-bound aid boats that were forcibly stopped last month by Israeli soldiers. A clash between activists on one of the ships and IDF troops led to the deaths of nine activists, with several soldiers wounded.

Support For Gaza Blockade Seen Sinking in Israel

International pressure causing some Israelis to question sanctions.

06/15/2010
Israel Correspondent

Tel Aviv—Amid heavy international pressure on the issue, domestic political support for Israel’s economic blockade of the Gaza Strip border passages has badly frayed.

Once confined largely to the Israeli left, criticism of a policy that banned basic goods such as fresh meat, margarine and plaster has spread to security hawks who acknowledge the closure is not serving its original policy goal of weakening Hamas. That may make it easier politically for the government to make concessions on a blockade that, until now, has enjoyed widespread popular support.

Israel Approves Gaza Flotilla Inquiry Panel

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's Cabinet unanimously approved a commission of inquiry into the interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine passengers dead.

Two foreign observers were named to the commission.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Monday's meeting to approve the independent public commission that its establishment "will make it clear to the entire world that the State of Israel acts according to the law, transparently, and with full responsibility."

Gaza blockade angst

If you don't think the tide is turning against Israel's Gaza blockade, you're just not paying attention. There are numerous reports Israel is looking for a way out of what seems like a punitive and arbitrary blockade, but I suspect that won't do much to counteract the intense and mostly negative worldwide scrutiny that followed the botched Gaza flotilla raid and the lame Israeli PR efforts to justify it.

Obama Says Gaza Situation ‘Unsustainable,’ Pledges $400 Million

06/10/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- President Obama said the situation in the Gaza Strip was "unsustainable" and that he would budget an additional $400 million to improve conditions there and in the West Bank.

Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting here Wednesday discussed the aftermath of Israel's deadly raid last week on a Turkish-flagged ship ferrying aid and activists to Gaza Strip in order to break Israel's blockade of the strip.

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