Israel’s On-and-Off Reopening of Gaza’s Border Crossings

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Israel’s On-and-Off Reopening of Gaza’s Border Crossings

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

The International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) affirms the right to life and human dignity; equality before the law; freedom of speech, assembly, and association (including he right to demonstrate or protest peacefully; religious freedom and privacy; freedom from torture, ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention; gender equality; the right to a fair trial, and; minority rights. 

Israel and America are signatories to the covenant, binding international law. In the US, it’s the supreme law of the land under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2). 

Yet Republicans and undemocratic Dems flagrantly breach its provisions at home and abroad.

So does Israel, especially against Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens. B’Tselem accused Israel of violating virtually every ICCPR article.

Its high crimes include naked aggression, mass murder,  targeted assassinations, torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, mass political imprisonments, land theft and dispossessions, denial of free movement, expression, and the right to demonstrate nonviolently – among many other lawless actions.

Gazans have been virtually incarcerated under unlawful blockade conditions since mid-2007 – solely for political reasons, unrelated to national security despite phony Israeli claims otherwise.

Kerem Shalom crossing is the  main passageway for vital goods entering and exiting the Strip. Closing it intensified illegal collective punishment imposed on two million Gazans.

Israel abusively closes it at its discretion, most recently in response to legitimate Palestinian Great March of Return Friday demonstrations, along with kites launched cross-border, flaming and otherwise.

Last Tuesday, Israel reopened the crossing, a statement saying:

“Following the decision of Defense Minister Lieberman, in consultation with the chief of the general staff, Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the main cargo crossing into Gaza, the Kerem Shalom crossing, will be re-opened this morning for full activity.”

Most likely not for long. See below.

Despite claims of extending Gaza’s fishing zone from three to nine nautical miles (under international law, there’s no limit, under Oslo, 20 nautical miles never implemented), Israeli gunboats attacked a Gazan vessel one nautical mile from shore on Thursday.

Four Gazan fishermen were unlawfully arrested, their boat confiscated. Two other fishing boats were surrounded. Fishermen on board were ordered to strip naked and swim toward the gunboats.

They were unlawfully arrested, their vessels confiscated – for the crime of fishing in their own waters, one of many Israeli Ziofascist high crimes.

Kerem Shalom’s reopening may be short-lived. On Sunday, the Netanyahu regime closed the Erez crossing for pedestrian traffic – in response to Friday’s Great March of Return violence it instigated for the 21st time since March 30.

Israeli war minister Lieberman blamed Hamas for IDF high crimes. On Wednesday, Netanyahu’s security cabinet approved a meaningless ceasefire with Hamas during a special meeting on Gaza.

IDF forces breached it on Thursday and Friday. Israeli agreements aren’t worth the paper they’e written on.

The Netanyahu regime and Israeli media scoundrels disgracefully call nonviolent Palestinian demonstrators rioters engaged in incitement – bald-faced lies.

How long Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings stay open remains to be seen. Israel’s suffocating blockade continues.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing to Sinai short-term – permitting only 100 Gazan entry into Egyptian territory. Most often, the entry point is closed.

Complicit with Netanyahu, Egypt’s el-Sisis punishes Gazans ruthlessly instead of responsibly helping them.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.