Impact of Kerem Shalom Crossing’s Closure on Gaza
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
A previous article discussed the commercial border crossing’s closure, the main passageway for vital goods entering and exiting the Strip.
Netanyahu ordered the illegal Gaza blockade tightening, suffocating its two million residents, Israel waging undeclared war on them, what I called slow-motion genocide in previous articles.
In cahoots with Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu wants Gazans immiserated more than already, flaming kites from the Strip setting fires in Israel the pretext.
Any other one would do to continue unaccountable viciousness on Gazans for political reasons, unrelated to security. Hamas is a convenient enemy threatening no one.
Israel gets away with high crimes because the international community does nothing to challenge them, including its wars of aggression.
Kerem Shalom’s closure is another example of unlawful Israeli collective punishment, limited “humanitarian” imports permitted, all Gazan exports banned, including to the West Bank and Israel.
Import bans include construction material, clothing, blankets, mattresses, other consumer products, water pumps, spare parts, generators, and some of the limited amount of fuel allowed in.
According to the Gisha Center for Free Movement, “Israel’s distinction between ‘humanitarian’ and thus permitted items, as opposed to ‘less essential,’ and therefore banned items, is as baseless as it is egregious; particularly given the devastating humanitarian situation already rampant in Strip.”
“It appears Israel is once again attempting to limit supplies to Gaza to a humanitarian minimum, as it did during the harshest periods of the closure.”
Israel provided the Palestinian Crossing Authority with itemized goods allowed in, everything else banned, nothing allowed out.
Less than half the number of trucks entering the Strip in June are let in now. Construction materials accounting for about 44% of imports are entirely prohibited.
About 50% unemployment in Gaza will increase markedly. The Strip’s dire need of housing, classrooms, and medical facilities will go unaddressed.
According to Gaza’s Building Industry Association head Farid Zaqout, Kerem Shalom’s closure dramatically increased the price of cement.
Gazan clothing company owner Hasan Shehadeh said the following:
“I work with several companies in the West Bank, Israel and China. My phone has been ringing off the hook since yesterday. The suppliers are panicking over potentially not receiving the goods.”
“If things stay this way, I’ll suffer huge financial losses, because in my contracts I’ve signed a commitment to pay for every item left in my factory.”
“I have a hundred people working in the factory and a hundred more working from home. Israel’s decision will affect them too, of course.”
Suliman Z’urub explained the closure’s impact on Gazan farmers, saying they’re “the big losers. They’ve invested a great deal in growing the crops and have been waiting to sell them to pay back debts and loans and make a little money. Now they have nothing.”
Scant power availability in Gaza means crops can’t be stored, selling them when harvested essential. Prices dropped dramatically after the closure’s announcement.
Gisha called Netanyahu’s action “immoral and illegal. Humanitarian conditions in Gaza are” dire, dangerous, and harmful to the entire population.
The world community is largely silent about what’s going on, complicit with Israel through silence and inaction.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."