A foreign journalist notices the Egyptian blockade of Gaza

CAMERA, in two blog posts earlier in the year, cited examples of how media outlets find inventive ways to avoid mentioning the fact that the “total Egyptian blockade has isolated the Gaza Strip far more than the Israeli blockade, under which goods and people do cross“. Though CAMERA in those particular cases was citing reports by Agence France Presse (AFP) and The New York Times, British media reports on the deprivation in Gaza also routinely ignore the Egyptian blockade

CAMERA, in two blog posts earlier in the year, cited examples of how media outlets find inventive ways to avoid mentioning the fact that the “total Egyptian blockade has isolated the Gaza Strip far more than the Israeli blockade, under which goods and people do cross.

Though CAMERA in those particular cases was citing reports by Agence France Presse (AFP) and The New York Times, British media reports on the deprivation in Gaza also routinely ignore the Egyptian blockade.  (These reports also fail to inform readers that Israel’s blockade is only partial, and allows into Gaza, on a daily basis, large quantities of food, consumer goods and construction material, despite the fact that much of this “humanitarian aid” is diverted by Hamas for military purposes.)

All of this renders the following June 22nd Times of London report (paywall) by Gregg Carlstrom quite extraordinary. 

times headline

The Times of London article focuses on a woman in Gaza who needs specialist medical care in a Cairo hospital, but is denied the right to cross the border by Egyptian authorities.

Carlstrom then makes a broader point:

While the international focus has been on the intermittent closures of the Erez crossing between Gaza and Israel, and the partial Israeli blockade of the territory, the restrictions imposed by Gaza’s other land neighbour, Egypt, are far more severe. Compared with Israel, which opens Erez for a limited number of people and goods for five days each week, the Rafah crossing to Egypt is almost completely sealed. Until this month it has been open for only five days this year, allowing only 2,517 Palestinians to travel out of Gaza. That compares with Erez, which 4,100 people used in one week of this month

The recent closure of Rafah is the worst in nearly a decade. President Sisi, Cairo’s pro-western military ruler, accuses Hamas of sponsoring jihadists across the border.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of British media coverage of Israel that the mere acknowledgement, by one reporter, of the undeniable fact regarding Egypt’s ‘disproportionate’ role in the oft-reported “siege of Gaza” represents such a huge leap forward.

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