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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid