srael has come under increasing pressure to end its blockade of the Gaza Strip following last weekend's deadly raid on a fleet of ships carrying aid supplies. The Jewish state imposed the blockade three years ago after the militant group Hamas won local elections in Gaza, and since then the small, densely populated territory has been enveloped by what the U.N. describes as a "severe humanitarian crisis." Israel says ending the blockade would — by allowing Hamas to import weapons — imperil its security. Does Israel have a right to keep such a tight lid on the Palestinians in Gaza? (Watch a report about calls to end the Gaza blockade)
The blockade has to stop: It's time to end the blockade, says Mohamad Bazzi in GlobalPost. The international effort to "isolate Hamas" is a failure. The tight economic sanctions were supposed to undermine the Islamist group's popularity among Gaza's 1.4 million residents. Instead, "it has only harmed the people of Gaza and made them more dependent on Hamas."
"Israel must end the Gaza blockade"
Israel is only defending itself: The Israelis "have every right to sustain a blockade of Gaza," says Newt Gingrich, as quoted by Politico. "Hamas is actively every day trying to kill Israelis," and the blockade makes it harder for militants to get their hands on weapons. Moreover, there's "no humanitarian crisis" in Gaza — the U.S. has been funding food and shelter there through the U.N. for 60 years.
"Gingrich: There was 'no humanitarian crisis' in Israel"
Not enough aid is getting through: Only 20 percent of the aid Israel allows is getting through to Gazans, says Allegra Pacheco in The New York Times. That's just enough to prevent "starvation and most disease," which somehow "has made the siege 'tolerable'" to the world community -- but there's no denying "the status quo is unbearable for the Gazans," and the aid situation needs to be better managed as long as the blockade is in place.
"A failure of relief agencies"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Repealing ObamaCare would now mean kicking 4.2 million people off their new insurance plans
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
Subscribe to the Week