Before Facts Known, European Politicians condemned Israel’s attempts to Stop Illegal Flotilla
Several European leaders were quick to condemn Israel’s campaign Monday to prevent an illegal flotilla from reaching Gaza – well before information and video footage showed that the self-described human rights activists aboard one of the ships were armed and violently attacked Israeli military personnel.
Despite the fact that Israel publicly offered to inspect and then transfer the flotilla’s aid to Gaza several days prior to the incident, many opponents of Israel are now making wild accusations that humanitarian supplies are being blocked from entering Gaza. The facts put these charges to rest – just take a look at how much aid Israel regularly delivers to Gaza, and what it means in real terms for Gazans:
- Over one million tons of humanitarian supplies were delivered by Israel to the people of Gaza in the past 18 months – that’s equal to nearly one ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza.
- In the first quarter of 2010 alone (January-March), Israel delivered 94,500 tons of supplies to Gaza. It’s very easy to miss what that actually means for the people of Gaza. The breakdown includes:
- 40,000 tons of wheat – which is equal to 53 million loaves of bread;
- 2,760 tons of rice – which equals 69 million servings;
- 1,987 tons of clothes and footwear – the equivalent weight of 3.6 million pairs of jeans;and
- 553 tons of milk powder and baby food – equivalent to over 3.1 million days of formula for an average six-month-old baby.
- This reflects a long-term effort on the part of Israel to deliver a massive and comprehensive supply of aid to Gaza’s civilians, while restricting the ability of Hamas to import missiles that have been launched at the cities of southern Israel. In 2009 alone:
- During the Muslim holy days of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, Israel shipped some 11,000 head of cattle into Gaza – enough to provide 8.8 million meals of beef;
- More than 3,000 tons of hypochlorite were delivered by Israel to Gaza for water purification purposes – that’s 60 billion gallons of purified water; and
- Israel brought some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine into Gaza – a weight equivalent to over 360,000 260-piece mobile trauma first aid kits. A neccesary question to all of us is: how would we act – and what should we demand our leaders to do, if Hamas would be shooting rockets at our country every day?