On finding a tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israeli government has again blockaded the strip from receiving shipments of basic building materials.. Half of Gaza’s 1.7 million people are children, and half the population receives food assistance. Israel invaded Gaza in 1967 and tried to plant Israeli squatters there. In 2006 Hamas, the movement of political Islam, won the Palestinian elections. Israel and the US supported a coup on the West Bank that put the PLO in charge. A coup attempt failed in Gaza, where Hamas remained in power. The Israelis punished the whole population with a crushing economic blockade. Collective punishment of populations under occupation regimes is forbidden in international law. Although Israel has made cosmetic changes to its blockade, it is still a severe interference in the lifeways of occupied local people, which the Geneva convention of 1949 forbids.
The USG Open Source Center translates an item from Gaza radio maintaining that 200 Palestinians were aboard the ship that capsized off Malta 2 days ago. 33 passengers are known dead and dozens are unaccounted for.
FYI — Ship Carrying 375 Syrian, Palestinian Migrants to Europe Sinks Near Libya, 200 People ‘Lost’
Sunday, October 13, 2013
At 1521 GMT, the HAMAS-run Gaza-based Al-Aqsa TV reports the following “urgent” screen caption: “Initial reports say that a ship carrying Palestinian refugees has drowned after being fired upon opposite the shores of Libya.”
The HAMAS-run Gaza-based Safa website reported on its homepage at 1524 GMT that the ship was carrying 375 migrants and was on its way from the Libyan city of Tripoli to Europe.
At 1546 GMT, Al-Aqsa TV carries the following “urgent” screen caption: “The Palestinian survivors from the ship that sank opposite the shores of Libya say more than 200 of them are lost at sea.”
The desperation of Palestinians made stateless by Israel and now blockaded has driven some to desperate and perhaps fatal misadventures
at sea. (Palestinians in Syria are now often being chased out of their camps, too.)