First Lesson of Gaza War: The Blockade Works

The authors are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.


20100617_uniraq_560x375During the first 24 hours of the Gaza war, Palestinian terrorists fired more than two hundred rockets into Israel. Yet only one Israeli was wounded, and none were killed. How is that possible?

When Israel fires missiles at enemy targets, they strike with pinpoint accuracy. Sometimes they hit a lone terrorist on a motorcycle, or a single, targeted apartment in the middle of a dense cluster of apartment buildings.

Yet when Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian terror groups fire rockets into Israel, the vast majority land in empty fields or parking lots or other uninhabited sites.

The difference is not that the Israelis have better aim. The difference is that the Israelis have the right equipment, and the Palestinians don’t.

Israel has the sophisticated computer systems necessary to ensure that their missiles lock on the desired target. The Palestinians don’t have that technology.

The reason they don’t is because of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

That’s right, the much-maligned Israeli blockade–the focus of so much griping by the Arabs, by Palestinian support groups around the world, by the United Nations and even by the Obama administration. That blockade. It’s working.

Israel took a lot of heat for intercepting the Mavi Marmara, the ship of pro-Hamas extremists from Turkey and elsewhere that tried to bust the blockade of Gaza in 2010. In the aftermath of that episode, various groups adopted the blockade issue as their cause du jour.

In 2011, for example, a panel of five “independent human rights experts” for the United Nations declared that the blockade is “a flagrant contravention of international human rights law.” In 2012, the UN’s annual report on the Gaza situation called the blockade “collective punishment.” In 2013, the UN’s “humanitarian coordinator” for Gaza, James Rawley, claimed that “Gaza is becoming uninhabitable” because of the blockade. And just this part March, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency declared that the blockade “is illegal and must be lifted.”

The other usual suspects have chimed in as one might expect. Amnesty International has charged that the blockade is “suffocating Gaza.” Human Rights Watch has complained that the blockade is having “an awful effect.” The International Red Cross has declared the blockade to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Even the Obama administration, which one would have hoped would not fall in line with the knee-jerk Israel bashers of the world, has tried to get Israel to ease up on the blockade. “Gaza Blockade Untenable, U.S. Believes,” read the headline of an NBC News report back in 2010. “The Obama administration believes Israel’s blockade of Gaza is untenable and wants to see a new approach that would allow more supplies” into the territory, NBC reported.

That same week, Vice President Joe Biden told interviewer Charlie Rose, on Bloomberg TV: “We have put as much pressure and as much cajoling on Israel as we can to allow them to get building materials” and other forbidden items into Gaza. Biden seemed oblivious to the fact that many construction materials are what is known as dual-use items: in addition to their primary purpose, they can also be used for terrorist purposes. Concrete for the foundation of a building can also be used to make an arms-smuggling tunnel.

Fortunately, Israel resisted all this international pressure. It maintained the blockade. And as a result, Palestinian rocketeers without target-locating computers continue to fire their missiles into open fields instead of supermarkets and kindergartens.

Amnesty International and the rest owe Israel an apology. But we won’t hold our breath waiting for that. Instead, we’ll just carefully note whose advice has proved sound, and what lessons can be learned from this experience.

The first lesson from the Gaza war: Blockading the enemy works.

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  • Judahlevi

    Israel simply cannot kowtow to world opinion and also protect the people of Israel.

    It has to be one or the other.

    Thankfully, so far, Israel has rebuffed Obama and world opinion otherwise many more Israeli civilians would have died. For its own survival, Israel must have military superiority at all times.

    They can’t afford to lose even one war.

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  • Taimoor Khan

    So that means Gaza was not free all along but subject to a brutal blockade. So much for “We left Gaza, but it didn’t work”.

    You NEVER left Gaza. You blocked it. You also continue to occupy Palestinian land in West Bank.

    So while it is Israel which is in breach of international law on 1) settlements, 2) Gaza blockade, 3) West Bank occupation, 4) stealing of Palestinian waters and resources, 5) killing and humiliating Palestinians etc, it is the Palestinians who are the culprits?

    What moral inversion displayed on this site?

    BTW, why not block Israel to all international dealings. That might “work” too.

    • Johnny Palestine

      Israel blocked the entry of dual purpose items. Gazonia is well fed. Israel should block. Gazonians are very dangerous and duplicit creatures. When they are not attacking Israel they are demanding that the West protect them!!

      Israel possesses the law under International Law. On June 05 1967 Isrel was attacked. It gained the land. LEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW. Every country has the right to self defence even if that country is a Jewish one.

      Where do you live? In America? In Canada? In Australia? In Gibraltar? In Argetnina? Then you are ILLEGALY OCCUPYING NATIVE SOIL under the same INTERNATIONAL LAW you cry about.

      • Taimoor Khan

        Not so fast. If I live through legal immigration, then great.

        But Israelis are occupying Palestinian land according to UN resolution.

        • Webb

          Not so fast, Tami Con. You are filled with hot goat manure.

        • nopeacenow

          There has never been a Palestinian state so there is no Palestinian land to occupy. There is no international law that gave the land to the Palestinians. The Palestinians have nothing and deserve nothing.

        • El Cid

          No doubt there are multiple “angles” in this controversy and many people of different backgrounds who are getting hurt.

          Maybe you should take a broader view of the Arab world and ask where your concern would have more impact on the people. Gaza or Syria? Gaza or Iraq? etc.

          But people’s welfare, that is not the issue is it? It is that Jews have built a working state and the Arabs don’t even have one working state. So, you would like to tear it down.

          Ask a non-Palestinian Arab what they think of Palestinians. They despise them. Why does the US and the EU provide 95 percent of the support for Palestinian Arabs when the Arab World produces so much oil?

        • CowboyUp

          Too bad the people calling themselves palestinians rejected the UN partition, and it’s too bad they used the land they had after the ’48 war to launch further wars to destroy Israel. They should have made peace while they were ahead.

        • Gee

          According to International laws the UN resolutions are illegal and they are RECOMMENDATIONS.

          So like you the UN can go suck an egg

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          “Pakishtanis” are occupying Indian land since 1947.

        • Drakken

          Time for you to go back to pakiland where you crawled out of.

        • Maynard

          If I read the Bible correctly that land was given to the Jews by God thru Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and as had always been the plan they began returnning in 1948. Since God gave the land to Abraham’s descendants no one else has title to it.

        • patrioticCanadian

          Any Arab living outside Arabia is illegally occupying territory brutally conquered. Same goes for the Turks.

    • Ivan Ewan

      So I’m guessing you’re of the opinion that deliberately firing rockets at civilians, from civilians, is not in breach of any international law?

      That opinion would be wrong. You expect Israel to follow every international law no matter how suicidal, and expect nothing from Hamas, the faction which demands genocide at every moment.

      “Moral inversion”. If you knew what a moral was, you wouldn’t say something so profoundly stupid.

      • Taimoor Khan

        Rocket fire is in response to occupation and exploitation of Palestinian land.

        Move to pre-67 borders and then I will be with you in condemning any attack ion Israel.

        Otherwise, YOU are the aggressor, officially.

        • sonny2dap .

          So let’s be clear you support indiscriminate rocket fire based on the fact you don’t like where a particular group of people are living?

        • carpe diem 36

          yes as if moving borders will turn murderers into kind gentle neighbors!! the same people will kill israelis if you move the border to two feet from the sea. this is their nature, this is what they do, it is in their DNA, they just like death and killing. they cannot live in peace with their own people, look at all the Moslem countries and tell me where you would like to live. You live in the kind gentle America and talk nonsense. Why don’t you move to Gaza.

        • Webb

          Tami likes not the blockade against his 72 virgin he-goats. He is very anxious for love.

        • Webb

          So Tami, move to moosleem paradise where your 72 virgin he-goats anxiously await you — Not!

        • Paul of Alexandria

          Hamas and the other Palestinians have never acknowledged Israel’s right to exist in any form, so the point is rather moot.

          You might want to check your history, BTW, “Palestine” and Israel were both parts of the Ottoman Empire, which lost WWI. Technically, the Palestinians are Jordanians – but even Jordan won’t take them.

          There
          is not, nor ever has there been, a Palestinian people, state, language,
          culture, or history. The present-day “Palestinians” are Arabs, with
          Arabic culture, history, and language. They came from Arab states into
          what we now know as Israel about one hundred years ago. In contrast, the
          Jews have been in Israel for over 5,000 years. Following the Six-Day
          War (June 5-10, 1967, in which Israel thoroughly routed a coalition of
          nine Arab states and took possession of Judea and Samaria), the Arabs in
          Judea and Samaria suddenly became Palestinians. Walid Shoebat, a former
          PLO terrorist, said that overnight (June 4, 1967) he became a
          Palestinian.

          http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/03/the_plo_rewrites_history.html

          http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/05/wapo_gives_readers_false_history_of_1948.html

          http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/09/abbas_temple_denial_and_the_distortion_of_history.html

        • mollysdad

          Arabs are as indigenous to Palestine as the French are to Algeria.

        • El Cid

          Hamas does not recognize that formula. They claim all of Israel and also have an as goal the destruction of the world’s Jews.

          Just a note–you could check that the “67 borders” were with Jordon in the East and Egypt in the West.

          The Western territory, Gaza, is under Hamas control because Sharon unilaterally ethnically cleansed Gaza of Jews.

          Neither Egypt nor Jordan want to re-instate the borders.

          Things are not simple, Taimoor.

        • Gee

          The pre-67 borders is the Jordan River. The Arabs colonists occupy Israeli lands.

          By the way – why did you thieves attack us in 1948, 1956 and 1967 when we were within the armistice lines?

    • mollysdad

      As to settlements, it is international law (the Mandate for Palestine) that no Jew is a foreigner anywhere within the boundaries of the Mandate.

      As for the rest of your points, it is divine law that Jews must not allow idolaters to settle in the Land of Israel. This does not apply adversely to people who are citizens of Israel, for they benefit from the rule that the law of the land is the law (dina d’malkhuta dina).

      But it does apply to Muslims who are not. The practice of sujud (ritual prostration) characteristic of Islamic prayer is capital idolatry as a matter of the law of Moses, which Jesus Himself ordered the Jews to do and observe (Matthew 23:1-3). Hamas and all who give them aid and comfort are enemies of God and have no place in the Land of Israel.

    • 1Indioviejo1

      Your moral compass is inverted. 57 countries,1.2 Billion Muslims and you want Israeli land. Shame on you. Why do you want to bring Muslim ‘progress’ to Israel, when Muslims have all the resources they need but are still MIERDA?

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        1indioviejo1 AKBAR!

    • Gee

      We have been under a blockade by you Muslim scum since 1947 – yes even before our independence.

      Sucks to have it returned, now we need to act like you have and make sure NOTHING is allowed across the line.

      Since you thieving Muslims do not have any legal claim to any of the land west of the Jordan your illegal occupation of Israeli lands must end. Go or die – those are your two choices.

    • Webb

      Ah Tami, out on the ranch we had to make a very tight fence for the pigs in order to keep them from escaping and rooting up Mother’s flower garden and vegetable garden. After meals we would throw our garbage in to them, and they got fat on it. When they were big we would take them to market and get money. Zionism has turned Eretz Israel into a beautiful garden, so the pigs cannot be let out of their pen onto it to destroy it. Everywhere the arabs live is blight and brown. Everywhere the Israelis live is green. I have stood on the high places and looked out over Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. All is dead and brown and scraggly. Look back over shoulder and see all of Israel bright green and growing. Israel offered to give the poor homeless arabs the Negev and they screamed they were insulted by offer. Today the Negev is a rolling carpet of green fields extending ever southward as Israel waters the ground with center-pivot irrigation systems. I have seen it with my own eyes. The arabs, Tami, are much too stupid and too arrogant for their own good, plus they are much too lazy to accept such a good deal and go to work to produce crops. It would not help to give arab land. He would only turn it to wasteland and squander opportunity to become self-supporting. So he must live on handouts from the people in the world who will work for a living. Gaza was full of state-of-the-art greenhouses when Israel gave Gaza to the arabs. Immediately the arabs tore down the greenhouses and junked them out. The arab cannot be helped. they have no concept beyond the 7th Century.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Khancer Pakishtan occupies Indian land, Kashmir.

      Dismantle Islamist Pakishtan NOW!

    • SoCalMike

      You and the morally inverted perverse things that think like you have as much interest in the truth as Pinocchio.
      You’re just another Jew hater dealing your BS off the bottom of the deck like a card cheat.
      You would dance a jig if your coreligionists wiped out the Jews.
      But they are never going to get that chance no matter how hard they try.
      So just keep loving and celebrating death as the Jews love and celebrate life.

      • sasan

        i’m iranian and i despise terrorists whom no longer care about land or freedom but run a business of antisemitism just for money .
        i understand ur anger against all these hatred.

        but as long as i read about (its easier for me to check their reference ,cuz other media usually wont give u much clue )
        when u systematically hurt people only most fitted will remain ,in this case hard headed people now ur dealing with.

        and dont forget some of ur ancestors was exactly the same as these people, at roman times they’ve been called terrorist .
        living in europe actually changed u;
        liberalism,logic,practical thinking,hardworking,science.
        some attributes i wish to see in my people.
        i can see no trail of these in islam or judaism (wich are practically the same).

        i believe 66 years is not enough time for them to reach ur level ,specially under dictatorship of terrorists.

        • Boogie’s Daddy

          Yes, they might have been called terrorists, by the Romans who were subjugating them.
          In this case the Israelis do not wish to subjugate the Arabs in Gaza. But again, the Arabs in Gaza had an opportunity to have their own recognized state and they refused to accept it.

    • Boogie’s Daddy

      The Arabs in the geographical location referred to by the Roman term for “giant litter box” had a chance at a real nation on the same day that Israel was recognized. They refused it in favor of eliminating the Jews. Those Arabs own no land legally for someone else to occupy. That’s the moral inversion.
      All the Arabs have to do is stop shooting.

  • Gamal

    When one considers the vast number of missiles fired at Israel including even drones and when considers how far they reached it’s hard to believe that the blockade is working. It’s true that a lot of rockets are manufactured in Gaza but plenty came from Iran. Where it counted the Gaza missiles went to their targets which in one case was the Dimona nuclear reactor. The reason they didn’t hit Dimona was Iron Dome not lack of computers. The priority of the Gazans is not pin point attacks but rather to hit Israel and to do that you don’t need computers.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      right, but without guidance systems rockets are not a precision-strike weapons.

      • Boogie’s Daddy

        Yes, his point is Hamas’ cause as with most terrorists doesn’t care if they are accurate. Any hit is a good one.

  • Ivan Ewan

    Ceasefire! Israel said yes. Hamas said no. So whatever comes next, it’s on Hamas’ head.

  • Rena

    If the blockade worked, how did all those thousands of rockets arrive? If the blockage worked, how come Gaza people drink Coca Cola and have water and electricity piped in from Israel – and not paid for, by the way.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      the rockets have been there for a while. They’re fairly cheap and small. What’s blockaded are more sophisticated arms made by the Russians.

      • Gee

        Those are getting through too thanks to Egypt

  • Habbgun

    Rather than worrying about disproportionate response let the world have the proportionate response it craves. Match Hamas rocket for rocket but have those rockets not be guided. Let them land everywhere and anywhere just as Hamas rockets do. Don’t think Hamas couldn’t get the technology if they wanted it. They have billions and could develop a cheap version of a guidance system. This is a terror weapon and is used that way,

  • sum1

    This article doesn’t make it clear that this is purely a weapons blockade. When the average person hears the word “blockade” they assume that EVERYTHING is being prevented from going into Gaza and that the place is under siege. Goods enter Gaza freely, it is just that Israel inspects the goods to try to make sure that weapons are not being smuggled in. As it is, may weapons have been smuggled into Gaza so imagine how many more would be there if not for the weapons blockade.

  • 1Indioviejo1

    Israel as the winner of this Hamas initiated war of aggression needs to take any strategic land it deems necessary for the protection of the Israeli people. PM Netanyahu must realize his responsibility is to the people of Israel and not to the UN, the EU, or the USA.

  • Gee

    Now we need to actually institute a blockade, not the fake one that Netanyahu has been running, but one like the Arabs have had on us since 1948 and still do.

    Nothing goes in and nothing comes out through us. No building materials, no food, no water, no fuel, no power, no people no anything at all,

    They have a border with Egypt – let them go there

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    1) The Security Wall 2) the blockade. Israel’s existence is unthinkable without either.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      The Anti-Islamofascist Wall WORKS.

      Lives are saved and Hamass is emasculated..

  • Smellfungus

    The Israeli Arab conflict is not a land dispute. It’s a conflict of civilization versus barbarism. Even if Israel did not exist many Muslims and most Arabs would still want Jews annihilated.

  • Maynard

    Well, despite the blockade US Dollars for the Palestinians to buy rockets to rain down on Israel seem to find a way in.

  • elmo37

    I am sympathetic to what the article is stating but am still troubled/confused by the ‘blockade’ of gaza. Time and again I hear or read about the terrible levels of poverty in gaza with the main reason given that most goods are blocked by Israel. Is this really so and what salient response does Israel give to this?

    More troubling perhaps is the recent sympathy shown in the western press for Hamas firing rockets from areas such as schools, hospitals etc. Their argument is that Hamas don’t have a standing army or a proper place to function so they have to use anywhere available them. Are things really that bad in gaza eg the living situation, that this argument can stand?

    I really want to be able to answer critics of Israel on this subject but don’t have solid facts as yet to do so. A well reasoned response would really help. Thanks.

  • sasan

    romans dint wanted any part of jews land,their plan was to move toward east,iran,india,who knows, even china ,they where just in the way.
    the problem between roman and jews was mostly about cultural rigidity of jews,of course the romans they usually seen where soldiers ,not normal citizens ,we all know how dikhead soldiers can be .
    thats basically the situation here.
    u where justified to militarize ,but what they see is occupiers just like roman.
    u changed the culture ,society hierarchy,jobs,and authority … same as roman did.

    thats not us $ dude ,its iran or qatar’s money.

    last night i was searching for isis activities , i noticed people saying there are too many isis members in gaza .
    this kind of activity is not even hamas style . they are like soccer player,u hit them once ,they will cry for 2 month.
    i suspect they where right about isis keeping the fire up ,and hamas is too dumb to say they lost the control.

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  • Andy Nascimento

    Wtf?You journalists call This a war??how many did mthe jewish lobby pay to you for such manipulated and fake information??this is not a war since a war is an army against another army and palestina has no army….this is a masacre and a genocide….if justice existst Israel will have to pay for all the pain and death they bring arround them!