Israel Says It Will Allow ‘Humanitarian Corridor’ in Gaza

Olmert Touts Plan to Allow Gazans 'Periodic Access' to Vital Goods

With the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip increasingly dire, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he will allow the military to establish a “humanitarian corridor” in the Gaza Strip through which Gazans would be permitted periodic access to the food, clean water, and medication that has been denied them for much of the 11 day-long war.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting that roughly half of the Gaza Strip’s 1.5 million residents are now without access to water, many of them have gone for over a week. Around a million are also without electricity.

The Israeli government has been reluctant to allow aid workers and supplies into the strip for weeks now, and has only allowed occasional shipments to enter the strip while lashing out at claims from humanitarian workers on the ground that the situation constitutes a crisis and claiming the appearance is some Hamas trick. The new move seems to confirm that they are backing off those claims.

Israel claims it may have the corridors set up as soon as tomorrow, but as it has been dragging its feet on other promises, so aid workers are unlikely to be satisfied with the move until it is actually put into place. In the meantime, international public opinion of the Israeli government will continue to decline.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.