Friday, December 11, 2009

Why don't we hear about the Egyptian blockade of Gaza?

Despite denials, it appears that Egypt is building a huge iron wall on its borders with Gaza that will go deep underground specifically to stop smuggling tunnels.

Notice how the Independent newspaper describes the situation:
Leaders of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, are believed to have been greatly dismayed by Egypt's willingness to implement the project while the Israeli blockade continues and while Egypt keeps its own crossing with the Strip closed.
Israel blockades, but Egypt merely closes crossings.

Reuters even goes further:
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Egypt was installing an underground metal wall about 20 to 30 metres (70-100 feet) deep along the short border strip where Palestinians have dug a warren of tunnels to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
You see that Reuters says that the Rafah tunnels between Egypt and Gaza are meant to break the Israeli blockade.

To be fair, in a little noticed story from almost one year ago, Reuters UK did manage to write a story that talks about Egypt's blockade. According to its archives, however, it has used the phrase "Israeli blockade" 449 times and "Israel's blockade" an additional 220 times. In contrast, Reuters has used the phrase "Egyptian blockade" 20 times, and each time it said either "Israeli-Egyptian blockade" or similar, as it did in the article linked to above. That makes it even-handed! (h/t HB)

(AP' s Sarah al-Deeb, surprisingly, is a bit better, saying "Egypt has been harshly criticized by Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel in blockading the 1.4 million residents of the impoverished Gaza Strip for more than two years.")

In other blockade news, Israel allowed an export of flowers from Gaza yesterday, the first such export in months.

(h/t an emailer)