News / Middle East

Gaza Residents Hope Israeli Blockade Will End After Cease-fire

Gaza Residents Hope Israeli Blockade Will End After Cease-firei
|| 0:00:00
X
November 26, 2012 9:49 PM
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. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid