Carter calls Gaza blockade a 'crime and atrocity'

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sameeh55, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Carter calls Gaza blockade a 'crime and atrocity'

    By Reuters

    Tags: Jimmy Carter, Cairo

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip a "crime and an atrocity" on Thursday, and said U.S. attempts to undermine the Islamist movement Hamas had been counterproductive.

    Speaking at the American University in Cairo after talks with Hamas leaders from Gaza, Carter said Palestinians in Gaza were being "starved to death", receiving fewer calories a day than people in the poorest parts of Africa.

    "It's an atrocity what is being perpetrated as punishment on the people in Gaza.It's a crime... I think it is an abomination that this continues to go on," Carter said.

    Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza after the Islamist group Hamas seized power over the impoverished coastal strip last June. Since then, Israel has allowed only basic staples to be transported through the border crossings it controls, into Gaza.

    Israel has not accepted Hamas proposals for a truce including an end to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and to Israeli attacks on Hamas personnel in Gaza and the West Bank. Israeli officials say a truce would enable Hamas to rearm.

    Carter said Israel and its ally the United States were trying to make the quality of life in Gaza markedly worse than in the West Bank, where the rival moderate Fatah faction retains power.

    "I think politically speaking this has worked even to strengthen the popularity of Hamas and to the detriment of the popularity of Fatah," Carter said, remarking that the U.S. had been trying to achieve the exact opposite.

    Carter, who helped broker peace between Egypt and Israel while serving as U.S. president in the 1970s, said the Hamas leaders he has met so far told him they would accept a peace agreement with Israel negotiated by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - the Fatah leader - if the Palestinian people approved it in a referendum.

    Israel and the United States say they refuse to deal with Hamas as long as the Islamist movement does not recognize Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.

    But Carter said Hamas, which won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, had to be involved in any arrangements that could lead to peace.

    "One of the reasons I wanted to come and meet with the Syrians and Hamas was to set an example that might be emulated by others... I know that there are some officials in the Israeli government that are quite willing to meet with Hamas and maybe that will happen in the near future," he added.

    Carter's talks in Cairo were with former Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar and former Interior Minister Saeed Seyam, who did not speak to reporters.

    Zahar and Seyam came to Cairo on Wednesday after the Israeli authorities refused to let Carter into Gaza from the Israeli side. Carter has already met a West Bank leader from Hamas and is expected to meet the group's Damascus-based political leader Khaled Meshaal in Syria later this week.

    Earlier on Thursday, Carter met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. No details were available from either side.
  2. Last update - 19:20 18/06/2009

    U.S. ups pressure on Israel to end Gaza blockade

    By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

    Tags: Shalit, U.S., Israel news

    The United States has stepped up pressure on Israel regarding the Gaza Strip: Three weeks ago it sent Jerusalem a diplomatic note officially protesting Gaza policy and demanding a more liberal opening of the border crossings to facilitate reconstruction.

    U.S. and Israeli sources say the note was followed by a verbal communication clarifying that the Obama administration thinks Israel's linkage of the case of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and the opening of the crossings was not constructive.

    The note was delivered to Israel after a decision by senior U.S. officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and special Mideast envoy George Mitchell. The latter discussed the contents of the note during his visit to Israel last week.

    U.S. demands on Israel's Gaza policy were also raised Wednesday during talks between Clinton and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is on an official visit to Washington.

    The note focused on a number of issues that have troubled the U.S. administration regarding Israeli policy toward the Gaza Strip.

    The note's central message was that if Israel believes that the Palestinian Authority should be strengthened vis-a-vis Hamas, it must take the necessary steps regarding the Strip.

    The first task is to allow food and medicine into the territory. A senior political source in Jerusalem said the Americans have noticed some improvement here, but there has been no consistency or transparency on the types of foods permitted in.

    Another issue is the transfer of cash to banks in the Strip. U.S. officials have asked that Israel continue to allow the transfer of funds from Ramallah-based banks to Gaza banks to avoid damaging the enclave's banking and financial system.

    A third issue in the note was the expansion of the system for opening the border crossings, and permission to import a variety of goods that would enable imports and exports and encourage economic growth.

    The note also focused on construction materials such as cement and iron, which would be used to rebuild the damage caused by Israel's three-week Gaza offensive last winter.

    The U.S. administration emphasized that in parallel with its demands of Israel, it was willing to assist in establishing an international supervisory mechanism under UN auspices to ensure that the building materials were used for civilian purposes and not Hamas' fortifications.

    The diplomatic note was delivered to the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office.

    Verbally, the Americans relayed a message on Israel's linkage of the Shalit case with a more extensive opening of the border crossings. Israel is particularly insistent that unless there is progress in the negotiations for Shalit's release and a new sign of life is received, there will be no concessions on the crossings.

    The United States made clear that it is dissatisfied with this Israeli policy and wants Jerusalem to reevaluate its stance. "Until you change this, it will be impossible to progress," a source quoted the American officials as saying.

    "This policy has not led to progress on the Shalit case and we do not think that it is contributing to anything," the U.S. officials were quoted as saying.
  3. Why does baby Gaza still suck the tit of Mother Israel?
    Time to grow up and develop its own society.
  4. Billy Carter is to Jimmy Carter as Jimmy Carter is to America.

    For example,

    Billy Carter once urinated on an airport runway in full view of the press and dignitaries.

    Get my drift?


  5. Remember Billy Beer? He was a trip!:D
  6. Baby Gaza never sucked at Israel's tit! If anything...Israel has been starving baby Gaza all along. Matter of fact, turned out that baby Gaza could be self suffecient if it wasn't for the fact that Israel is blocking Gaza's ability to commerce with the outside world. Prior to that, Israel taxed and kept the taxes that were supposed to go to the Palestinianauthority in its bank accounts. That shows how much you know Mercer.
  7. Are you a Palestinian, Sameeh? Min wen inta?
    If you are, you already know that Carter sounds pretty damn ignorant- especially for an 'expert' on the Middle East.

    Gaza has <b>always</b> been a savage & impoverished territory when compared to the West Bank. This has been the case since before Hamas even existed.
  8. Cutten


    I wonder if this will work as well as the Cuba blockade has done?