Israel has come under intense international criticism for raiding a Gaza-bound aid flotilla this week, leaving nine activists dead. Journalists and eyewitnesses have accused Israeli commandos of firing on the ships before boarding. In response, the Israeli Navy has posted dozens of videos claiming to show that the activists themselves were the ones who instigated the violence.
Organizers of the Free Gaza movement, meanwhile, have promised to send another boat to challenge the Israeli Navy. And Turkey, long one of Israel’s few Muslim allies, has threatened to break off diplomatic ties, roiling the region.
The conflict may never be fully resolved, and more flotillas may well be on their way. But there is an important element to the debate that most observers have neglected: the blockade itself. Need to Know takes an in-depth look at the history of Israel’s blockade of Gaza and its impact on the population there.
Read Need to Know’s previous coverage of the raid and its aftermath:
- New aid ship nears Gaza coast, as Israeli Navy trails closely behind
- U.S. citizen among dead as witnesses recount Israeli raid
- Activists continue to challenge Israel as furor over raid continues
- Another boat heads for Gaza, as deadly Israeli raid sparks outrage
- Deadly flotilla raid could pit Israel against Turkey, roiling region
- Israel raids Gaza-bound flotilla, killing nine and sparking outrage
- Activists sailing for Gaza anticipate confrontation with Israeli Navy