Caabu calls for a full resolution of the future of Gaza to end crisis
Caabu condemns the Israeli attacks on Gaza and the rocket attacks by Palestinian fighters into southern Israel. Neither actions will resolve anything, nor advance security for civilians in Gaza or Israel. This most recent escalation represents an acute failure by all parties to the conflict, as well as the international community.
Caabu director, Chris Doyle, says, “Even in extremely unpredictable times in an unpredictable region, this crisis was wholly predictable. The blockade is not sustainable – it punishes civilians rather than militants, strengthens the hand of extremists and has created the absurd tunnel economy, through which militants get all their weapons.
“The only way forward is a long-overdue resolution of the crisis facing the Gaza Strip through a political solution, which must include the full ending of the blockade and the tunnel economy. Two years ago the British Prime Minister, David Cameron referred to Gaza as a ‘prison camp’. He rightly stated then that this should not be allowed to continue, but sadly it has.”
The other underlying cause of the crisis is the total failure to hold accountable those who committed war crimes during the 22-day long Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. As a major UN investigation stated, both Israeli leaders and Palestinian fighters were guilty of major violations of international law, but nothing was done. It is essential that all parties realise that they may face trial for crimes committed.
The international community must act decisively not just to end the fighting but to give Gaza a viable and peaceful future. This will be the only sure way to ensure peace for Israeli civilians. An August 2012 report by UNRWA found that Gaza will be unliveable by 2020. Already the blockade means that 44% of Palestinians in Gaza are food insecure and 80% are aid recipients. Around 71,000 new homes are needed to cover the current housing crisis, yet many construction materials are banned because they are 'dual use' – i.e. could be used to make weapons. In this desperate situation, a flourishing tunnel economy has emerged, through which Hamas is able to bring in almost anything it likes. The tunnels provide Hamas with 100% of its weapons and 10 to 15% of its income.
While Caabu hopes sincerely that an immediate ceasefire can be agreed and the bloodshed ended, ultimately this will not be enough to bring peace to the region. Security can only come about through a fair, negotiated solution based on international law.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact :
Chris Doyle, Director, Caabu