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Israel Declares Gaza 'Hostile Territory'

The government of Israel has officially declared Gaza "hostile territory."

Following the cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister's Office issued a communiqué saying: "Hamas is a terrorist organization that has taken control of the Gaza Strip and turned it into hostile territory. This organization engages in hostile activity against the State of Israel and its citizens and bears responsibility for this activity.

"In light of the foregoing, it has been decided to adopt the recommendations that have been presented by the security establishment, including the continuation of military and counterterrorist operations against the terrorist organizations. Additional sanctions will be placed on the Hamas regime to restrict the passage of various goods to the Gaza Strip and to reduce the supply of fuel and electricity.

"Restrictions will also be placed on the movement of people to and from the Gaza Strip. The sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the intention to avoid a humanitarian crisis."

While international objections are already seeping, it is important to keep the context that Hamas has always considered Israel "hostile territory." In fact, Israel is territory Hamas (et al) lays claim to. The objections are gratuitous.

At The Tank, J. Peter Pham nails it.

While some like the United Nations official quoted in the article will argue that Israel is engaging in "collective punishment", the Jewish state is doing nothing more than what any other nation at war does with a declared enemy. Did the Allies in World War II feel themselves bound to make sure that Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had an adequate supplies of petroleum? The object of a blockade, after all, is to degrade the enemy's ability to continue fighting effectively. As long as shipments of basic foodstuffs and medicine for use by non-combatants are allowed past a blockade—after due inspection, if necessary, to prevent the smuggling of contraband—a country at war, unlike a former spouse paying alimony, is hardly obliged to keep a declared enemy in the style to which he or she has become accustomed.