Cable: US Companies Forces to Bribe Israelis to Get Products into Gaza

Israeli General Conceded Corruption Kept Aid Out of Gaza

A classified State Department cable released yesterday confirmed that it has for years been official Israeli policy to allow so little aid into the Gaza Strip as to keep it forever on the brink of collapse. A cable leaked today has revealed corruption made the situation even worse.

The new cable, dated from 2006, reports that a number of American companies were complaining to the State Department that Israeli officials were trying to extort massive bribes from them in return for allowing their products to pass through the Karni crossing into the Gaza Strip.

The companies were told they could move to the front of the line for major payouts, and the Israeli general in charge of the liaison unit confirmed to the US that corruption at the crossing was causing a significant backlog of goods stuck at the border, waiting to be bribed in.

The Israeli Airports Authority, which controlled the crossing at the time, denied any wrongdoing, insisting they had investigated the matter at the time and that no charges were ever filed against anyone.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.