“There is a humanitarian and health crisis going on in Gaza, visible from our work on the ground in Gaza. Gaza has been under the siege for roughly six years now. Nothing is able to enter Gaza except convoys trying to break the siege from the Egyptian side,” author and Middle East affairs expert Saeb Shaath said in an exclusive interview on Saturday.
Shaath’s remarks were in reaction to a recent report leaked from the UN which terms Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza “legal”. The report also blames Israeli troops for using excessive force against pro-Palestinian activists onboard a Turkish-flagged aid convoy last year.
Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after democratically-elected Hamas lawmakers took over administration of the coastal sliver.
The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Strip, which is slightly more than half the size of Washington, DC.
Israel has been exposed to be a “racist regime” and a tool used by the West to suppress the Arab and Muslim masses in the Middle East region, Shaath reiterated.
“The West doesn’t like people who do not come behind [support] their tanks, like in Iraq or Libya. That’s why Gaza has to pay for its freedom,” the political expert opined.
Shaath touched upon the killing of Turkish activists and the leaked UN report, citing the document as “dishonest” and blaming the panel of the report for violating international law and Article 4 of the Geneva Convention.
“They are racist and they were looking to see who was Arab or Muslim, with dark-colored skin. That’s who they killed. Even the Westerner activists on the ship were surprised at that. This is a racist, Zionist, apartheid regime backed by the US and Britain allies,” Shaath concluded.
The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the Turkish-flagged M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
(www.presstv.ir / 04.09.2011)