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Yossi Alpher in today's IHT: Now Stop Starving the Gazans

Today's edition of the International Herald Tribune includes an important op-ed by Yossi Alpher, entitled "Now Stop Starving the Gazans."

Excerpt:

"For the past year and a half, Israel, with the full backing and encouragement of the quartet of Middle East mediators (the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia), as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and even the West Bank-based PLO, has maintained an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.

"Generally it has allowed into Gaza only the equivalent of the UN minimum number of calories required daily for subsistence, multiplied by the 1.5 million or so population of the Gaza Strip, along with minimal medical supplies and fuel.

"This economic-warfare strategy against Gaza has failed totally; indeed, it has proven counterproductive...

[snip]

"Arguably, the current military campaign might have been avoided had the economic war ended. Even if the Israeli bombing and invasion were unavoidable, open land crossings between Gaza and Israel would have allowed Gazans to stock up with emergency provisions rather than be caught by this war with empty shelves, thereby avoiding at least part of the current humanitarian crisis..."