[Opinion] Terror tunnels, embargoes and human rights
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With the commencement of the ground incursion by IDF land forces, dozens of tunnels have been discovered leading into Israel. Many were dug in preparation for an anticipated Israeli attack in order to ambush Israeli soldiers from beneath.
The discovery of a terror tunnel network running from Gaza into Israel and under Gaza itself should cause NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and their European government funders to rethink their ongoing campaigns against Israel’s policies towards Gaza.
For years, Gisha (funded by the UK, Ireland, the EU, Norway and other governments), Oxfam (funded by the UK, EU and other governments), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and many other political advocacy NGOs have conducted an ongoing campaign condemning Israel for maintaining restrictions on construction materials and other goods entering Gaza.
These NGOs falsely assert that the restriction constitutes “collective punishment” and claim that any security rationale is merely a pretext.
… NGOs have also repeatedly dismissed Israel’s security concerns about “dual-use” goods (materials that could be used for either civilian purposes or terror, i.e. cement for tunnels and metal pipes for rockets). Their claims were quickly adopted by European governments, which in turn have been pressuring Israel to change its policy and ease the closure of Gaza.
Now, the hundreds of rockets fired into Israel, as well as the discovery of tunnels under Gaza and into Israel, have completely undercut the NGO narrative. Despite security concerns, Israel had eased most restrictions on imports into Gaza, and allowed limited exports through Israel as well.
The network of intensely ideological NGOs, though, ignores these inconvenient facts.
Instead they have escalated their anti-Israel campaigns. Amnesty International has reinitiated its call for an arms embargo against Israel, with special attention paid to weapons that Israel receives from the United States.
When NGOs pressured Israel to ease its blockade, they falsely claimed that a legitimate defensive, less invasive measure constitutes “collective punishment.” In ignoring Hamas’ misuse of materials and exploitation of the eased blockade, these groups were extremely naïve. But, when coupled with antagonistic rhetoric toward Israel, it was more likely is an expression of a malicious anti-Israel agenda.