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Israel’s Allies are Using a Maritime Corridor to Support Israel’s “Day After” Plans
Israel’s Allies are Using a Maritime Corridor to Support Israel’s “Day After” Plans


Under the guise of easing the starvation of people in the Gaza Strip, the proposed maritime humanitarian corridor and temporary seaport is another tool to weaponize aid, absolve Israel of its responsibilities and obligations, and support Israel in its “day after plans”: to eliminate and replace UNRWA and establish a potential mechanism for Palestinian forcible transfer out of the Gaza Strip.

With States not taking any actions to challenge the Israeli closure of crossing borders and restrictions on humanitarian aid, not only are they involved in the genocide, but they are also involved in implementing Israeli “day after plans” drafted in blatant disregard for the Palestinian people’s  right to self-determination.  

On 8 March, the United States of America (USA), the European Union (EU), Cyprus, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates endorsed the activation of maritime humanitarian corridor – completely ignoring the existence of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza and the 6 other land checkpoints between 1948 Palestine and Gaza.

"From a humanitarian perspective, from an international perspective, from a human rights perspective, it is absurd in a dark, cynical way," said the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. The UN, its agencies and experts have repeatedly called on Israel to allow access at the existing land-based checkpoints citing that ground deliveries are the most effective way to provide urgent and immediate relief.   

However, Israel, bolstered by its allies, has not only steadfastly refused to ease its chokehold on the Gaza Strip but has also reduced the amount of aid reaching the starved Palestinian population there, especially in the North and obstructed the work of UNRWA and many other international agencies. In the wake of sabotaged ceasefire negotiations, Israel has repeatedly and clearly stated that nothing will derail its planned invasion of Rafah, regardless of the fact that the outcome will be more genocide and mass forcible transfer.

The EU and the USA, Israel’s most ardent supporters, applauded and inundated the idea of the corridor in the media, instead of pressuring Israel to not only call off the invasion of Rafah but to open the land crossings and checkpoints. Choosing to go with the maritime corridor/temporary port has significant purpose, but it is clear that the purpose is not to end the famine that has begun in the Gaza Strip. 

As Egypt and Jordan remain firm in refusing to take on the burden of Palestinian refugees, it is not unreasonable to speculate that the maritime corridor may eventually be used for transferring Palestinians out of the Gaza Strip. If that becomes the case, then it is another indication of colonial western support for Israel’s plans of “voluntary migration,”  which would not be voluntary at all, but rather the international crime of forced transfer.

Both the humanitarian air drops and the maritime corridor/temporary seaport are ways in which colonial western states continue to back Israel and its goals: providing Israel with other ways to manipulate aid by controlling its distribution. The air drop method relies on the local population for distribution and depends on the physical capacity of those attempting to reach the drop area, rather than need. In the case of the Gaza Strip, and a population that is experiencing catastrophic levels of starvation and malnutrition, and the end result is that Palestinians are forced to battle each other for lifesaving aid. Eventually, for Palestinians to survive, they will be coerced to accept  the imposed authority that will control the delivery and distribution of such aid, which will likely be an Israeli colonial entity. 

With the maritime corridor, there is no reliable comprehensive registry for beneficiaries – which only UNRWA possesses. Neither is there a viable plan on how to deliver or distribute the aid along the shores of the Gaza Strip, which are too shallow and require the building of a “temporary seaport” that could take two months. Israeli War Minister Gallant stated that Israel would oversee the whole process “to bring aid directly to the residents”, in order to exclude Hamas, but more importantly to exclude international agencies, especially UNRWA.    

In both methods, international agencies responsible for ensuring aid and service delivery are taken out of the picture. It will then conveniently become necessary to replace these agencies, either with an Israeli controlled or friendly entity, and/or the local population. Therefore, the air and sea distribution methods support Israel’s goal to eliminate and replace UNRWA as it is the aid agency with the mandate and presence to provide aid.  

Discussions among States on the planning, logistics, roles and contributions concerning the maritime corridor overshadow the fact that these same States arm Israel’s genocide. Opening of the existing land crossings is the most practical, feasible, economical and efficient method when compared to air drop missions and the installation of a maritime port.

Furthermore, the introduction of the maritime corridor aims to obscure, and to certain extent, absolve Israel from its international obligation to ensure the safety and security of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, including the provision of unconditional and unrestricted humanitarian aid, and to prevent further genocide as required by the ICJ’s provisional measures. While the situation of famine in Gaza has been intentionally created and maintained by Israel, it has clearly put the responsibility of providing aid on the shoulders of the international community.  

In addition to colonial western states complicity and involvement in Genocide, the proposed corridor and temporary port directly serve Israel’s declared goals: ending the role of the UNRWA, establishing a local distribution mechanism using “good” Palestinians, and a potential mechanism for the forcible transfer of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.