Guardian and Independent coverage of second flotilla omits key facts

This was published by Just Journalism

Israel accused of trying to intimidate Gaza flotilla journalists’, by Conal Urquhart, published in yesterday’s Guardian, framed the convoy’s primary motivation as humanitarian, endorsing the contention of protesters that breaking Israel’s naval blockade is the sole way of delivering aid to the territory. The article asserted:

‘The ships are sailing to protest against Israeli restrictions on Gaza and to commemorate last year’s flotilla, which was intercepted by the Israeli navy, who killed nine of the Turkish participants.

‘Israel has restricted the supply of goods and the movement of individuals in Gaza since Hamas took control in 2007.’

However, no mention was made of the fact that Israel has repeatedly offered to transport the aid to Gaza as long as flotilla ships do not attempt to directly reach the coastal territory themselves, as reported by Just Journalism at the start of the month. Yesterday, The Jerusalem Post reported the latest development, whereby Israel and Egypt have agreed to coordinate any such effort:

‘Israel and Egypt have come to an understanding by which ships taking part in an upcoming flotilla to the Gaza Strip will be allowed to unload their cargo of humanitarian goods at the Egyptian port of El-Arish, from where it will be transferred on land to Gaza after being checked, Israel Radio reported on Monday.’

Even the left-leaning Israeli outlet Haaretz, in an editorial published yesterday arguing that the ships should be allowed to reach Gaza, acknowledged that it was hard to argue that there was any ‘practical reason’ for the flotilla:

‘At first glance, there does not appear to be a practical reason to send the aid, since in the wake of the 2010 flotilla, Israel was compelled to lift many restrictions it had put in place as part of its brutal blockade, and Egypt has decided to open the Rafah crossing to civilians. Moreover, Israel has even offered to transfer the aid shipment to Gaza, as long as the ships don’t dock there.’

Read the rest of the essay, here.

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