Life Under the Gaza “Siege”

July 4th, 2010 at 10:34 am | 12 Comments |

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In a recent article in the Egyptian weekly, Rooz Al-Yousuf, journalist Muhammad Hamadi, questions what ‘siege’ in Gaza people are talking about, noting that life under ‘siege’ in Gaza is cheaper, more convenient and easier than in Egypt, where the people would love such a ‘siege’.

According to the article, translated to English by MEMRI, Hamadi refers to a report published by Hamas, comparing the prices of goods and produce in Egypt and Gaza. The report notes that fruit, vegetables, beef and poultry are much cheaper and more accessible in Gaza, which is supposedly under ‘siege’ than they are in Egypt. According to Hamadi, goods and produce are streaming in to Gaza at such a rapid rate that supply is greater than demand and that as a result, prices are much cheaper there than in Egypt.

Hamadi questions:

So what siege are they talking about? Does the siege cause prices to drop? And how are goods flowing into Gaza despite the siege?

He concludes by suggesting:

If this is what it’s like in Gaza under siege, then the Egyptian people…[should] pray to Allah to smite them with [such a] siege, if the siege will lead to lower prices and make it possible for every common citizen to buy eggs, meat, and poultry like the Gaza residents do.

Recent Posts by Arsen Ostrovsky

12 Comments so far ↓

  • Slide

    MEMRI. Who is that you ask. The Middle East Media Research Institutue. Some notable members of MEMRI:

    Elliott Abrams
    Steve Emerson
    James Woolsey
    John Bolton
    Stuart Eizenstat
    John Ashcroft
    Ehud Barak
    Mort Zuckerman
    Michael Mukasey
    Norman Podhoretz
    William Bennett
    Paul Bremer

    I’m sure we are getting a very un-biased perspective from such a diverse group of thinkers right?

    Funny but a study has just come out showing the harmful effects of the siege on the heath of those living in Gaza:

    Gaza siege damages Palestinians’ health: study

    By Kate Kelland Kate Kelland – Fri Jul 2, 3:34 pm ET

    LONDON (Reuters) – Palestinian health experts studying the impact of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip say it threatens to cause long-term damage to Palestinians’ health, with many children at risk of stunted growth or malnutrition.

    In a series of studies published in the Lancet medical journal on Friday, researchers also said Israel’s attack on the region in early 2009 had a devastating effect, causing injury, displacement and social suffering, particularly among children.

    Stress levels are also high, with women describing the terror of giving birth under siege. “I cannot believe that I did not die,” said one woman cited in the research.

    Around 1,400 people were estimated to have died and many more injured during the Israeli attack on the occupied Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009. The health experts described the destruction of infrastructure, including homes, as “unprecedented.”

    Israel has slightly eased the blockade it imposed on the region soon after Islamist group Hamas, which rejects Western calls to recognize Israel’s right to exist, won a Palestinian election in 2006. Restrictions were tightened after Hamas seized power in Gaza the following year.

    “The siege of this region continues to be the main obstacle for improvement of the living conditions and the quality of life of the population,” said Niveen Abu-Rmeileh of Birzeit University’s institute of community and public health in the West Bank.

    Despite its blockade, Israel allows medical and humanitarian aid into Gaza and the Israeli military says 7,000 Palestinians visit Israel from Gaza each month for medical treatment for serious conditions.


    In a study looking at some of the health consequences of the attack itself and conducted before the embargo easing, Abu-Rmeileh’s team analysed health-related quality of life using data from a random survey of about 3,000 Palestinian households.

    Almost a third of the sample population was displaced during the war, while 39 percent of their homes were either completely or partly destroyed. By the end of the study in August 2009, three quarters of the damaged homes had yet to be repaired.

    The study also found that more than 70 percent of households were reliant on food aid, and 57 percent of respondents whose families received food aid rated quality of life as “less than good” compared with 30 percent of respondents who did not.

    A second study looking at childbirth under siege interviewed five midwives and 11 women about their experiences during the bombings. They described how they coped with fear, violence and uncertainty around them as they waited for labor to begin.

    One woman quoted in the study said the worst time was when darkness fell: “I was not thinking like other people in face of death or shelling, but was only thinking of my case. What would happen if I had labor pains at night? How will I manage? They were shelling even ambulances. Nights were like nightmares. Each morning I breathed a sigh of relief that daylight had appeared.”

    Kholoud Nasser from the Ministry of Education in Ramallah, looked at Palestinian children’s diets and the knock-on effects for their health and education.

    In a study of around 2,000 children and adolescents, she found that one in four misses breakfast – the main indicator of healthy eating habits – while one in 10 is anemic, and one in 17 is stunted. Around 2 percent are underweight and 15 percent are either overweight or obese.

    “Comprehensive and effective school nutrition programs that are targeted at all age groups, with special attention to adolescents and girls, are needed because the data for overweight and iron-deficiency anemia are alarming,” Nasser wrote in the study. The Lancet, July 2, 2010.

    but…… Ostrovsky wants you to know, that you can get watermelon really cheaply in Gaza. What the hell are they complaining about?

    What a reprehensible little article there Arsen, once again demonstrating your belief that the life of a Palestinian is so much less valuable than that of a Jew’s.

  • sdspringy

    I think you misunderstood the article.
    MEMRI did not write the article they only translated.
    Any crticism should be directed at the Egyptian press

  • Slide

    Yes, I understand that MEMRI did not write the article but they selected it for translation because it served their purposes. I would imagine that there are exponentially more articles deploying the horrendous living conditions that the Gaza siege has caused that went untranslated by MEMRI. I just thought it important to show exactly what MEMRI is.

  • Rabiner

    I’m getting annoyed at all the pro-Israeli articles on this site. It isn’t that they’re arguing we should be pro-Israel but rather they’re just propaganda and cherry picking articles to give a different picture than what is really there.

  • SFTor1

    My grandmother was a member of the Norwegian Nazi Party during World War II.

    When she died and we were cleaning out her house, we discovered stack after stack of Nazi-era newspapers in her house. The headlines in those newspapers read exactly like the one above, on a million different topics:

    “Wehrmacht volunteers help rebuild primary school.”
    “Friendship alliance picnic huge success.”
    “Norwegian youth are getting behind Pan-Germanism.”

    I could go on for a while. There were plenty of positive angles on the German occupation. The same appears to be the case with the blockade of Gaza.

    The gall and the dishonesty makes me want to throw up.

  • realitycheck

    Holy crap. Is this site really re-posting Egyptian propaganda articles? Seriously, is this a joke?

  • jakester

    Don’t forget, all the critics here. that after the flotilla from the newly re-Islamicized Turks was stopped, the Israelis trans-shipped those desperately needed supplies to the suffering people of Gaza. Those desperately needed supplies were turned away by the deprived people of Hamas. MEMRI of course is pro Israel, but all they do is reprint stuff from the Arab press that never seems to catch the eyes of Israel’s critics

  • jakester

    Your gall and the dishonesty makes me want to throw up.
    MEMRI is reprinting articles from the Arab press, papers that are totally NOT under Israel’s control. That you fail to acknowledge that crucial difference shows me that you are the one lacking integrity. The ultimate proof is to actually research the issue not to make your contemptible Nazi comparisons.

  • jakester

    Furthermore, the people of Gaza elected these Islamo-fascist Hamasheads, who swore to annihilate Israel. These same jihaders then declared war on Israel. Israel fought back and they lost, good for Israel. No country should have to endure such vile trash on their border. Until The Gazans renounce Hamas and install a government that wants peace, I have no more regard for the enemy combatants and their civilian base they hide behind in Gaza as I did of the citizens of Nazi Germany before VE Day. As bad as the Nazi were, at least they never hid behind civilians, even enemy ones, while these pathetic excuses for soldiers and statesmen hide behind their own people, like the people on that poor flotilla who brought their children with them on a blockade run.

  • SFTor1


    my point is that this is propaganda. There is far more wrong than right about the Gaza blockade. To pick an article that basically says “The blockade is good!” is dishonest in my opinion.

    Also remember that all this talk about “annihilating Israel” is a distortion of the truth. All these organizations are advocating for a state where Israelis and Palestinians share the country. They consider Israel an apartheid state. This may be taking things too far, but we might agree that there are benefits to being Jewish in Israel.

  • jakester

    The blockade is not pleasant, only a moron would imagine it is Club Med there. But they are at war with Israel and refuse to even negotiate. Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel, that is a fact. They openly pursued a path of war and lost, so I really can not have any sympathy for them and their supporters, civilians or not.
    The Allies in WW l kept the blockade of Germany for a year after Armistice Day 11/11/1918, which caused a lot of Germans to starve and suffer. That was contemptible and evil since the Germans deposed the hated Kaiser and installed a peace seeking regime. Now that was a cruel blockade, not this one.

  • Rabiner


    “The blockade is not pleasant, only a moron would imagine it is Club Med there. But they are at war with Israel and refuse to even negotiate. Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel, that is a fact. They openly pursued a path of war and lost, so I really can not have any sympathy for them and their supporters, civilians or not.”

    Well at least you understand that the blockade is not a good thing for the lives of people in Gaza. Considering that, why do you think this particular article by Arsen Ostrovsky was written and published trying to argue that the blockade is not negatively impacting their lives?