Nov 27, 2012

Gaza Exports In One Chart

Perhaps the facts that most undercut the Israeli claim that its siege on Gaza is only focused on security are its restrictions on exports from Gaza. If the siege is in fact about preventing arms from entering Gaza, why does Israel bar exports? This is, of course, a question we have been raising for some time but I am glad to see more people raising this important question as well, like Robert Wright and Andrew Sullivan.

For some more context, keep in mind that on 15 November 2005 the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel signed the Agreement on Movement and Access under the mediation of the United States and the European Union. Regarding exports from Gaza, the parties agreed that (emphasis added):
The passages will operate continuously. On an urgent basis, Israel will permit the export of all agricultural products from Gaza during this 2005 harvest season. The new and additional scanner will be installed and fully operational by December 31. At that time, the number of export trucks per day to be processed through Karni will reach 150, and 400 by end-2006. A common management system will be adopted by both parties. In addition to the number of trucks above, Israel will permit export of agricultural produce from Gaza and will facilitate its speedy exit and onward movement so that quality and freshness can be maintained. Israel will ensure the continued opportunity to export.
That seems straightforward enough. Now, here below is a chart depicting the actual number of export trucks per day (TPD) Israel permitted to exit Gaza (blue line) and a baseline (red line) representing the number of trucks per day they were supposed to permit per this agreement by the end of 2006. The data presented below comes from UN OCHA.

[Click to enlarge]

Note the total failure to meet the 150 TPD commitment by 31 December 2005, let alone the 400 TBD by end of 2006, or ever. Keep in mind, Israel's failure to keep this commitment regarding exports precedes Hamas' electoral victory on 26 January 2006 and their solidification of control in the strip in June 2007.

This isn't about Hamas, this isn't about security. This is about punishing the Palestinian people of Gaza by crippling their economy. 

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