Facts about life inside Gaza Strip

IN response to Fra Hughes (Letters, June 8), I hope to clarify some basic facts regarding the siege of the Gaza Strip.

Designed to collectively punish an entire civilian population that totals 1,657,155 (according to the Palestinian central bureau of statistics 2011), the true reason that the siege is heart-breaking is not the level of corruption but rather the reality of its impact upon the lives and human rights of a population traumatised by years of Israeli state-sponsored violence coupled with the iron grip of the terrorist organisation Hamas.

The siege is not American inspired but actually a result of a fragile “peace” agreement between Israel and Egypt that stipulates coordination on so-called security measures pertaining to the Strip.

Another cause for serious concern is the military assaults upon the Gaza Strip by Israel, not all of which are remotely to do with targeting terrorist launch sites but more to do with the continued traumatisation of a people under a crippling siege that keeps an estimated 60 per cent of the population below the dire poverty line.

All of these huge issues are noted to be the fruits of a very deliberate set of Israeli government policies which should deeply sicken us all.

However, in condemning these policies we should also condemn the corrupt Hamas and their terrorist attacks against Israel via rockets which harm and terrorise innocent Israeli civilians on a continuing basis.

Lastly, I would ask everyone to resist creating their own sensationalist spins on this clearly unbalanced conflict. Misinformation and propaganda designed to hide Israel’s crimes or make the “two sides” appear on an even footing is just as reprehensible as exaggerating the number of refugees which currently stands at 4,797,723 in total, with 1,167,572 of these in the Gaza Strip (UNRWA 2012 report).

Gary Spedding

President, QUB Palestine Solidarity Society