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Gaza flotilla: Why the blockade makes sense for Israel

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The European Union agreed to monitor a crossing point in Rafah, which is easier than enforcement as it requires no robust military presence but only computers – proverbial pencils – to issue reports.

Yet, even this is a pale challenge to the 12-kilometer southern border with Egypt, where smuggling has occurred. Yet, even at the Rafah crossing alone, the EU monitors repeatedly fled the scene when the going got rough during the past few years.

Complicating the situation further is the fact that reporting does not suggest that Gaza is on the verge of catastrophe. This is what the Financial Times’s Tobias Buck wrote from Rafah just last week, alluding to the tunnel smuggling: “[T]he prices of many smuggled goods have fallen in recent months, thanks to a supply glut that is on striking displays across the [Gaza] Strip.”

The tunnel smuggling, Mr. Buck writes, has “become so efficient that shops all over Gaza are bursting with goods. Branded products such as Coca-cola, Nescafe, Snickers and Heinz ketchup – long absent as a result of the Israeli blockade – are both cheap and widely available.”

This suggests that the blockade has certainly not led to Gaza being on the brink of starvation.

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