Palestinians Reject Israel’s Easing of Blockade as ‘Public Relations Ploy’
June 18, 2010
(ChattahBox)—The Palestinians are not entirely sold on the legitimacy of Israel’s announcement of the easing of the land blockade of the Gaza Strip. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority dismissed the new blockade plan, as a public relations stunt to quiet international calls to end the three-year long blockade, which has caused a humanitarian crisis in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Earlier in the week, with the assistance of Tony Blair, the Mideast Quartet envoy, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the easing of the land blockade to allow the flow of building materials into Gaza, among other commodities. But according to the Jerusalem Post, the Palestinians, say it’s not enough and are demanding a complete end to the blockade:
“Nimer Hammad, political adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the decision was “insufficient” and called for the reopening of all the border crossings into the Gaza Strip.”
“The unjust Israeli siege on our people in the Gaza Strip must end,” Hammad said. “If Israel indeed wants to change its policy, it must halt all its unilateral actions, especially regarding settlement construction and the siege on the Gaza Strip.”
Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, called Israel’s announcement a “public relations ploy.”
And Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhr also condemned the easing of the land blockade, as an attempt to “beautify” Israel’s ugly policy.
“The Palestinians, he said, “are not asking for additional goods to be allowed into the Gaza Strip. Rather, they are demanding the complete lifting of the blockade and the reopening of all the border crossings, as well as freedom of movement for all people.”’
The United Nations has been pressuring Israel to develop a more humane strategy to deal with Hamas, which Israel considers a terrorist organization and a security threat.