How Britain Facilitates the Shameful Israeli Naval Blockade on Gaza
40% of World Health Organisation essential medicines are inaccessible in Gaza. The only painkiller available at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is ibuprofen: the go-to headache remedy in the West is rationed between men, women and children who bleed and clutch their bullet wounds on corridor floors in the 24-48 hour wait to receive treatment. Once surgery begins more corners have to be cut; blood supplies are exhausted due to a lack of lab facilities to transfer it. Overworked doctors improvise and sometimes work miracles, but more often than not Palestinians suffer easily preventable deaths.
8,000 Gazans were shot over the last three months during the Great Return March, pushing a normally inadequate medical system into crisis. This crisis demands expedited cargoloads of vital supplies: something which should be easy for a a strip of land on the Mediterranean, where 30% of the world’s merchant ships are in transit at any time of year. However, Israel has enforced a brutal embargo on Gaza since 2007, and the UK Navy lends a hand to this siege that the UN Human Rights Council have declared a ‘flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law’.
Israel break the Oslo I accord by shooting at Palestinian fishermen who travel beyond 6 km from the shore, rather than the agreed 37km; they violate UN law by sinking aid flotillas and slaughtering humanitarian workers. If the UK Foreign Office’s stated objective to ‘stand up for human rights by working with international bodies’ was sincere we would not be assisting the IDF in their transgressions.
Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster admitted in a FOIA request that the five British vessels have taken part in Israeli tactical exercises and defence engagement activities since 2016.