Gaza Siege Cuts
Realities on the ground speak for themselves, which saves me the effort in trying to describe and elaborate what exactly is happening in Gaza. Destruction, devastation, ruins, and the world’s largest spectacle of debris display is what first meets the eyes as one sets foot into the small enclave; Gaza. Things associated with the siege include: Electricity cuts, water cuts, gasoline and cooking gas cuts and even salary cuts, you name it. At different times during the siege, imposed for over five years now, people also witnessed cuts in other types of goods were basically viewed as being as abundant in nature as salt. The beginning of the 2009-2010 school year was famous for the shortage in stationery. These vital materials were banned from entering into Gaza while the UNRWA schools had their own supplies delivered so sound and safely. Has it come to this! I thought to myself, to impose a siege on education. People toiled to find notebooks for their children. But soon enough, with the lucrative, albeit deadly tunnel industry, notebooks were funneled in from our Egyptian neighbors though they were made of second-hand frustrating paper which easily got torn on using an eraser . And so we the people of Gaza learned that even the smallest of things were not to be taken for granted.
The fuel shortage reached a peak in the first quarter of 2008. If you were someone who owned a car, you weren’t seen driving around because you either could not afford to use up your fuel or buy another gallon. Walking to and from school, work and wherever was practiced by the majority of people. It was during these daily walking exercises that one pondered over the great blessing of transportation.
Thyme, a traditionally famous and affordable culinary herb used in a variety of ways is indeed the most widely consumed herb in the Palestinian kitchen. The West Bank is famous for growing this great aromatic plant. It is dried, ground, packed and delivered. During the siege, this herb was blacklisted from entry to Gaza. Why? one might ask, is this trivial plant forbidden. Well, some people gave their own explanation quoting that if the Gazan Prime Minister, Haniya announced that “the people of Gaza were ready to live on thyme” if they had to, then the Israelis decided that thyme it shall be not.
Five years and counting, Gaza still suffers under siege. On and off you hear that suddenly hospitals have run out of certain medication such as renal dialysis and cancer medicine which concurs simultaneously with banning people from access to travel for treatment. So if you don’t get killed by a missile, you’ll meet your end in trying to get proper treatment for yourself or your children. I keep hearing that the right to medical care and freedom of movement is a right every human being is granted under international humanitarian law, but then again, do we fall under the category of human beings in eyes of the Israel Rabbis who have classified the Palestinians as “pests” who must be exterminated.