Sun, 10 Dec 2023

16-year blockade on Gaza unlikely to be lifted ever

By Jay Jackson, Iraq News.Net
16 Nov 2023, 22:35 GMT+10

Israel appears now to be proposing a three-state solution to settle the decades-long Israel-Palestinian conflict.

However although it is government policy to support a two-state solution, the current government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to accept two states, let alone 3.

Eli Cohen, Israel's foreign minister confirmed Monday the two crossings connecting Israel and Gaza, Kerem Shalom and Ere, which have been closed since 2007 as part of a land, sea and air blockade, will never reopen.

A forever closure of the only two crossings between Israel and Gaza will permanently separate Gaza from the West Bank. The international community and Israel have supported, at least publicly, a two-state solution with Gaza and the West Bank comprising the Palestinian state.

Isolating Gaza will also prevent supplies being delivered to the enclave. While the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border can be utilized, according to Israel it is not suitable for heavy commercial use.

Cohen's answer to that is that goods can be delivered by sea from Cyprus.

"The understanding in Israel is that there will be no more contact between Israel and Gaza," the Israeli foreign minister told a press conference on Monday.

"The District Coordination and Liaison Office can become a museum," he said.

He added that workers from Gaza, previously allowed to work in Israel will never be allowed to enter the country again.

"There won't be a connection of goods and there won't be a connection of people, including workers," he said.

Miriam Marmur, public advocacy director for Israeli left-wing NGO Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, said her organization opposes the temporary and permanent closure of the two Israeli crossings.

"Obviously there is a desire that has been expressed in the past and more recently including by many in the current Israeli government to permanently divide Gaza from the West Bank and from Israel," Marmur told The Jerusalem Post.

Such a step "undermines the possibly of a Palestinian state that would include both Gaza and the West Bank," she added.

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