The world accuses Israel of imposing an inhumane and unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip. But Israeli leaders stress that the blockade could end in a single day if only Gaza's terrorist rulers would renounce their ways and come to the negotiating table.
Israeli President Shimon Peres reiterated that message in an address to the annual Jewish Agency gathering in Jerusalem on Sunday.
"Would Gaza leaders denounce terror, stop the building of tunnels and shooting missiles, stop attempting to kidnap Israeli soldiers and release Gilad Shalit who was abducted on Israeli territory, there would be no need for any sort of closure or blockade," said Peres. "If Gaza would turn to peace, she would have peace and there would be no need for flotillas."
Peres said he and other Israeli leaders still don't understand why after removing every Jew from Gaza in 2005, "the rulers of Gaza started to fire thousands of missiles against civilian life in Israel. For what reason? For what purpose?"
Much of the international community acknowledges that Hamas and its terrorist allies have wrongfully targeted Israeli civilians with their missiles, but view it as a far bigger crime for Israel to practice what they call "collective punishment" against the people of Gaza. What they and even Peres fail to note, however, is that in 2006, the people of Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian-controlled territories overwhelmingly voted for Hamas to take over their government.