News / Middle East

Gaza Residents Hope Israeli Blockade Will End After Cease-fire

Scott Bobb
Life in Israel and the Gaza Strip is returning to normal after a cease-fire ended an eight-day aerial bombardment between the two sides.  Both will need time and money to rebuild but the task for Gaza is expected to be difficult due to an Israeli blockade that chokes its struggling economy.

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza has allowed Palestinian fisherman to return to the sea for the first time in more than a week.

The catch is small.  Israel limits how far Gaza's fishermen can travel from the shore.  It is part of the blockade imposed after Hamas took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority five years ago.  Since the cease-fire Israel has extended the distance to 10 kilometers, double the previous limit.

Mifleh Abu Riallah says the blockade destroyed Gaza's fishing industry. Two-thirds of the fishermen have quit.

“Our hope is to lift the siege and live in security and that they (Israelis) will open the sea for us completely," said Riallah.

The recent bombardments destroyed the fishermen's cooperative and port authority building along with many other government structures in Gaza.

Since the cease-fire, Israel has allowed Palestinian farmers to visit land near the border fence in what had been a shoot-to-kill zone, two-kilometers-wide, containing one-fourth of Gaza's farmland.

Vegetable vendor Mahmoud al-Komi says fresh produce is expensive because of the blockade, and farmers cannot export their goods.

“Before the conflict it was sometimes good, sometimes bad. The border was open and closed, open and closed. Now, we hope it will be open for good," said al-Komi.

Gaza's largest supermarket has re-opened. Owner-manager Hazem Ashi says the blockade destroyed jobs and made goods unaffordable for many.

“We hope the cease-fire will lead to a peace agreement but the situation on the ground doesn't make me optimistic.... First you have to improve the political situation, then the economic situation will improve," said Ashi.

Analyst Mkhaimar Abusada says Hamas maintains that lifting the blockade is vital for the cease-fire to succeed.

“This is one of Hamas's conditions for the cease-fire and in the long term that will mean Hamas will not be subjected to isolation, will not be subjected to siege or blockade," said Abusada.

Israel says it will end the blockade if Hamas stops smuggling in weapons. Many Israelis doubt this will happen, given past experience.  But that does not prevent people on both sides from hoping, at least for now.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs