Israel, Palestinians and Egypt oppose lifiting Gaza blockade

Monday, June 14, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

That's right. It's not only Israel that opposes lifting the partial blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in the face of mounting international pressure. The Palestinian Authority and Egypt, too, recognize that such a move would be disastrous for the region.

The European Union was scheduled to meet on Monday and use the recent deadly Israeli raid on a so-called "humanitarian aid" flotilla to Gaza to escalate pressure on Israel to lift the embargo entirely.

European leaders have insisted that the Gaza blockade is "unsustainable" and constitutes unfair collective punishment (in doing so they ignore that the general public of Gaza actually voted Hamas into power).

Ahead of that meeting, Israel's Foreign Ministry published a document insisting that the embargo, and in particular the naval blockade, is working, and that Hamas is struggling to remain in power.

Israel received unexpected backing on this front from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas when he told US President Barack Obama last week that the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza should not be lifted. Abbas said that while he supports a slight easing of the embargo, removing it entirely, especially the naval blockade, would be seen as a victory for Hamas and boost the terror group considerably.

That according to European diplomats who spoke to Israel's Ha'aretz daily newspaper.

The Europeans also said that Egypt had made clear that it opposed lifting the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, as doing so would make it impossible to verify what was entering the Hamas-ruled territory.

Of course, both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority took advantage of the opportunity presented by the flotilla raid to condemn Israel as an oppressor.

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