Cutting through the bullshit.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Holding my breath

When Israel entered into the 'Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip' at 2100 local time on 21 November, just about 30 hours ago, it undertook 'Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire'. [Full text appended below for reference] 

Searching high and low has revealed no mention in the media of any progress towards this objective so far. Maybe the media are just a bit sluggish. Maybe they're waiting for some announcement to report. Maybe the parties have decided to wait until morning, their time, to commence 'dealing with' implementing these crucial undertakings.

What's certain is that there can be no peace while Israel persists in caging Gaza's 1 644 293 people in their 365 sq km concentration camp and enforcing the siege. We can only hope that in the coming hours and days, we will see free movement of Gaza Strip residents to the West Bank and the rest of the world; unrestrained passage of imports and exports; the end of the naval blockade that prevents access to Gaza's Mediterranean gas reserves and fisheries; dismantling of the remote-controlled, watchtower-mounted machine guns; free access to the agricultural and other land in Israel's 'buffer zone', which extends up to 1500 metres into the narrow enclave, 12km across at its widest point; and opening of Gaza's airport and sea port.

I'm not holding my breath.

1: (no title given for this section)
  1. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
  2. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
  3. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
  4. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

2: Implementation mechanisms:
  1. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.
  2. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
  3. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.

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