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Madness not to check Gaza aid cargoes

IN a recent interview, Mohammed Sawalha, organiser of the Gaza aid flotilla, gave some forthright answers, one of which I found interesting.

Question: "What have you been preparing for this year's flotilla in light of what happened last year"?

Sawalha: "We know how the Israelis behave and we are putting it in our minds that the Israelis can do anything and all the activists are really ready to face the Israelis' policies.

"We understand that the Palestinians are paying the price every day inside Palestine because of the crimes of the Israelis to keep the siege, you know, by killing the Palestinians and not allowing even medicine and food to cross to Gaza. Because of this, all the activists are really ready to pay a part of the price and to behave like Palestinians. We like to put ourselves in the same situation and to say that if the Palestinians are paying that for their freedom, we have to do something for them."

As the organisers of the flotilla have rejected the Israeli offer to accept delivery of the "aid" at the port of Ashdod, to be checked and trucked on to Gaza, I fear for the outcome of this latest testing of Israel's goodwill.

It would be madness for Israel to allow goods to flow unchecked between the outside world and a territory on its doorstep still governed by terrorists.

Niall Ginty

Killester, Dublin 5

Irish Independent