Collective punishment: Wikileaks doc says Israel kept Gaza on ‘brink of collapse’ partly as response to capture of Gilad Shalit

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The Wikileaks cable first reported by Aftenposten and mentioned by Amy Goodman this morning on Democracy Now (and picked up by Robert Mackey at the Times and Andrew Sullivan too). The assault on the banking system was documented in November 2008, a few weeks before Cast Lead. And all justified by starving a “terrorist regime” of funds– including the gov’t salaries of any Hamas members. Consistent with the destruction of government buildings that Goldstone later scored as a likely war crime.

Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis…

As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to econoffs on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge (see reftel &D8)….

The GOIs monetary policy towards Gaza is consistent with its declaration that Gaza is a “hostile entity.” Some observers have told Emboffs that political pressure arising from the issue of captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, may have influenced high-level Israeli officials to tighten their stance on monetary policy (see ref &A8).

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