ATFP/UNRWA Briefing on Gaza

Posted: May 20, 2014 by Rex Brynen in Gaza, UNRWA
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On May 19, the American Task Force on Palestine and UNRWA held a joint briefing on Gaza.

With so many aspects of its future in play, what lies ahead for the Gaza Strip and its nearly 2 million Palestinian residents? This joint briefing by the American Task Force on Palestine (A TFP) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will examine the most pressing questions facing Gaza and its residents in both their immediate and medium-term contexts. The humanitarian and economic outlook seems grim, as indicated by the recent UN Country Team report “Gaza 2020.” The report predicts that, without changes in the current outlook, over the next 15 years, residents of Gaza will lose access to potable water, and access to food, shelter, and sanitary living conditions will be insufficient. What can be done to improve the humanitarian and economic forecast for Palestinians in Gaza? And what does the evolving political scene portend for the territory? Can the recent Hamas-Fatah agreement offer any prospects for improvement, or will it worsen the situation? What is Egypt’s role in helping to shape Gaza’s future? What are Israel’s obligations? Can any of these factors lead to a lifting or easing of the flow of goods, the freedom of movement, and the overall security and opportunity for all?

You’ll find the video of the event above.

Comments
  1. dmseattle says:

    I watched it earlier today.

    Interesting but lacking much background my immediate question is along the lines of
    “Why is Egypt so hostile to Gaza? Why is not Egypt helping? Historically? Over the past 60 years? In fact why wasn’t Gaza granted some sort of autonomy — a self-governing province long ago? in the 1950s? In fact wasn’t Gaza actually part of Egypt before Egypt got cute in ’67? Why is there even an issue? Why not does Egypt open the borders to with Gaza?”

    Naive questions but obvious ones.

  2. Rex Brynen says:

    Egypt is hostile to the current Hamas government in Gaza because of its links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Gaza was never part of Egypt–rather, Egyptian forces controlled it at the end of the 1948 war, and continued that control (with the exception of a brief period during the 1956 war) until Israel captured the area in 1967.

    • dmseattle says:

      Thx but that doesn’t answer my question actually. I guess part of it is why was Nasser so stupid as to instigate a war and then lose it.

  3. Rex Brynen says:

    It was Israel that initiated military operations in 1967, with a surprise strike against Egyptian airfields on June 5. At the time, Israel cited Egypt’s blockade of the Straits of Tiran as well as the mobilization of Egyptian forces as the reason for striking first (although we now know Egypt had no plan to initiate active hostilities against Israel).

    • dmseattle says:

      Oh please. Spare me the BS. I was not born yesterday. I lived through that era.

      • Rex Brynen says:

        There’s no modern historian I am aware of that suggests Egypt initiated military combat in 1967. Rather Israel claims that its initial attack was either justified by Egyptian closure of the Straits, or preemptive of an Egyptian attack (although we now know Nasser gave no such orders). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

      • dmseattle says:

        Rex. You are probably too young to know first hand.

        I was alive and very conscious during the build up to the 67 war, and it was scary. Would in fact the Arabs follow through on their constant-statements to kill all the Jews? That is what it felt like. The closure of the Straits was a clear casus belli and plenty sufficient to justify war. And of course the Arab troop massing showed clear intent.

        Look, I don’t want to rehash the whole thing; of course Israel launched a pre-emptive attack.

        I simply thought your response to my statement that “Nasser instigated the war” was a misrepresentation, an attempt to state that Israel started it:

        — “It was Israel that initiated military operations in 1967, with a surprise strike against Egyptian airfields on June 5. At the time, Israel cited Egypt’s blockade of the Straits of Tiran as well as the mobilization of Egyptian forces as the reason for striking first (although we now know Egypt had no plan to initiate active hostilities against Israel).”

        That was biased. Your blog attempts to show yourself as fair-handed. But the way you parsed it (above) is clearly unfair.

        Nasser got cute by creating the circumstances which gave Israel no choice. So I think that a fair-handed observer would conclude that Nasser created such a profound casus belli as to have in effect started the war. But you want to claim that Israel started it; that annoys me.

        Anyway, I have learned a lot though not what I was hoping to learn. Thank you. 🙂

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