That government was elected, under close electoral observation, at the behest of the Israelis, and their US and European mentors.
Unfortunately for the 'free' electors, they voted for the wrong people.
Unfortunately, that government is not liked by Israel, its bullying overlord and neighbour, who, since the majority party (Hamas) within the government got rid of the corrupt puppets and stooges of Fatah in June 2007, has imposed a full blockade on the area.
Furthermore, since they have full control over all exits and entries to the territory (except for the crossings to Egypt, which they also control by proxy), the blockade is total.
I'll go into the full, horrific details of the effects of this blockade, and of Israel's almost constant military incursions, in later posts, but this is what provoked this particular post:
- a characteristically mild comment today, Tuesday, September 18, 2007, from Juan Cole's Informed Comment:
"And see George Bisharat's Op-ed in the Baltimore Sun: "Two hundred thousand Palestinian children began school in the Gaza Strip this month without a full complement of textbooks. Why? Because Israel, which maintains a stranglehold over this small strip of land along the Mediterranean even after withdrawing its settlers from there in 2005, considers paper, ink and binding materials not to be "fundamental humanitarian needs."
Gaza is the worst outcome of Western colonialism anywhere in the world outside the Belgian Congo.
Think of that - your child, born a refugee from an original family home probably only a very few miles away, (now occupied by imported Russians, Ethiopians, or Americans), cannot even be educated properly, because your overlords, who make every effort to minimise the freedom of criticism of their activities (especially in other countries) can exercise both controls, outside their own state, with absolute impunity.
Many readers will recollect that the US and Britain had similar policies when 'supervising' the materials that Iraq was allowed to import legitimately in the long period before they finally invaded, and employed total, ruthless, careless and violent chaos there.
We can expect Israel to take the very first opportunity to do the same to Gaza (yet again) whenever they feel they can get away with it.
Before Israel's totally phony 2005 'withdrawal' from the Gaza Strip, it looked like this. Ever get a feeling of claustrophobia?
Don't think that the 'withdrawal' has freed up these areas in any way at all. The pink Israel Security Zone along the border is a free-fire zone, although it is usually only unknowing innocent children who get killed by the Israeli Defense Force.
Wouldn't you want to cobble together an amateur rocket or two, and fight back?