With most international attention of late in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the question of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the topic of Gaza has fallen notably to the wayside. This is in part because little has changed there since Operation Cast Lead in December 2008. Abducted Israeli serviceman Gilad Shalit is still held prisoner somewhere in the Strip, Hamas is still the reigning power estranged from the Palestinian Authority, and the Israeli maritime blockade (although considerably loosened) is still in place.
Gaza has just today returned to the headlines because of two stories. In the first, the Israeli government-appointed Turkel Commission has completed its internal investigation into the Israeli raid on the activist flotilla which attempted to breach the naval blockade in May 2010. The raid reached its climax when Israeli commandos boarded the lead ship, the Mavi Marmara, were attacked by the passengers, and resulted in the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. The Israeli commission found that the raid was legal under international law and the Israeli soldiers acted in self-defense. It also ruled that the Israeli naval blockade has caused a “lack of nutritional stability” rather than starvation and is legal in accordance with international law. The Turkish government has also dismissed the report, claiming it has “no value or credibility.”