The UN, the EU and the Government all hold that Israel has imposed 'collective punishment' on Palestinians. Are they all wrong?, asks Philip O'Conor
SEÁN GANNON of Irish Friends of Israel criticises the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign for describing Israel's blockade of Gaza as "collective punishment" and "a violation of international law" (Opinion and Analysis, August 15th). In fact, it is the position of the EU, the UN and the Government, so we are in good company.
EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said on January 21st, 2008: "I am against this collective punishment of the people of Gaza. I urge the Israeli authorities to restart fuel supplies and open the crossings for the passage of humanitarian and commercial supplies."
Reporting to the Security Council on February 26th, 2008 after a visit to Palestine, John Holmes, UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief co-ordinator, stated unequivocally: "The effective Israeli isolation of Gaza is not justified, given Israel's continuing obligations to the people of Gaza.