Myths and realities about Israel’s siege of Gaza

Epiphanies !

Palestinian youths hold placards during a protest demanding the opening of Gaza’s seaport which is blockaded by Israel, 19 January. One reads: “A sea passage is a humanitarian demand.” (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

For nearly eight long years, Gaza has endured an unprecedented period of strangulation so tight and relentless that the word “siege” is now automatically linked to the enclave in many people’s minds.

Over this period, a number of misconceptions have developed. Here are three of the most common ones I encounter when I talk about conditions in Gaza:

(1) Palestinians in Gaza are in need of basic things including food and blankets

This was certainly true during the 51 days of Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer, and its immediate aftermath, but this has not been the situation for most people in Gaza, at least not in the last four years.

As the siege was starting…

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