Thursday, December 28, 2023

Israel and Cyprus approved plan to send aid to Gaza via ships. The Palestinian Authority REJECTED it. The reason tells you everything about the conflict.

AP reported last week:

 Israel wants to fast-track the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza through a maritime corridor from Cyprus, bolstering stability in the region, the country’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Israeli and Cypriot technical teams would spend Wednesday and Thursday hammering out the details of the initiative so that aid shipments from Cyprus’ port of Larnaca, some 240 miles (385 kilometers) from Gaza, can begin as soon as possible.

“Cyprus and Israel, together with other partners in the region are promoting the initiative for a secure maritime corridor to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza in an organized and well inspected manner,” Cohen said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart Constantinos Kombos.   
Cyprus had been pushing this plan for over a month. Israel would inspect the aid to ensure that it does not have any weapons and put other controls in place. It would eventually replace Kerem Shalom as the main means for Gaza to get imports and exports, thereby decreasing the risk to Israel of another Hamas attack like October 7.

Over the years, Hamas and other terror groups have routinely attacked Kerem Shalom and the other crossings that brought imports and humanitarian aid, causing death and injuries to workers there. 

So who could possibly be against creating such an aid corridor that would be a reliable route to help Gazans?

Why, the Palestinian Authority, of course!

At the weekly PA cabinet meeting Tuesday, the plan was discussed - and rejected. 
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad Al-Maliki, ... spoke about the so-called water corridor that was recently agreed upon between Israel and Cyprus, under the excuse of transferring aid to the Gaza Strip. The Council confirmed its rejection of this corridor due to the risks it poses that target the demographic situation in the Gaza Strip, in light of the killings, starvation, and cutting off the lifeline in the sector.
 The Council of Ministers demanded that aid be brought in through the five crossings that connect the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, and not through corridors carrying a humanitarian banner, which would cover up the passage of plans consistent with the objectives of the genocidal war committed by Israel against our people in the Gaza Strip. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was assigned to communicate with the Cypriot government to inform it of the rejection of this waterway.
The logic is that the PA insists that Israel remain responsible for Gaza - that way they can claim Israel "occupies" the sector. The mention of "five crossings" includes the crossings that Israel closed after Hamas took over and continuously attacked them. Even though Kerem Shalom was adequate for all of Gaza's needs, the PA wants an open border between Gaza and Israel - so there can be more vectors for Hamas to attack and more October 7ths. 

If Cyprus replaced Israel as Gaza's main source for imports and exports, then the Palestinians are more independent - but they cannot blame Israel for all their problems. Their claim that there is an Israeli "blockade" on Gaza can no longer credibly be claimed when the bulk of Gaza trade is through Egypt and Cyprus. 

It might help Palestinians, but it makes Israel safer and weakens anti-Israel propaganda and makes Israelis marginally more secure. 

If the PA (and Hamas) really cared about their own people, they would insist on the corridor plus Israel keeping Kerem Shalom open. They aren't saying that. 

So of course Palestinians are against the plan: like Hamas, their purpose is not to help their own people but to destroy Israel, and the humanitarian corridor goes against that desire.

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