Friday, June 18, 2010

Flotilla fallout (Neville Teller)

A British author and blogger, Neville Teller, does a very nice job updating the last few days of flotilla news in one nice package, including some things I was not aware of. For example, after detailing a large number of announced new flotillas this coming summer, he writes:
It seems as though the Mediterranean will be crowded with flotillas this summer, though one Israeli official is reported as saying: “We don’t know how much of the threats are real and how much are bravado.”

One factor apparently overlooked or discounted by all these enthusiastic potential blockade busters is that Gaza’s port is not large enough to accommodate cargo ships. Even before Israel imposed a naval blockade on Gaza, no cargo ships sailed there. Historically, all goods that entered the Gaza Strip in bulk did so by land.

The head of the Palestinian Federation of Industry in Gaza, Amr Hamad, is reported as saying that the business sector has separately proposed a plan by which, should the shipping lanes be opened, ferry boats would meet the cargo ships close to the shore, and bring the cargo into the port. He said that such a plan was discussed this week with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, who was in the region.

He stressed that the business community in Gaza at present preferred the goods to head first to Ashdod, so as to maintain a relationship with Israeli customs. The business sector in Gaza, he added, is not ready to break its economic ties with Israel.
Definitely worth reading.