U.S. activist Noam Chomsky makes first visit to Gaza
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U.S. activist Noam Chomsky makes first visit to Gaza

Gaza : Palestine | Oct 21, 2012 at 1:35 PM PDT
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Noam Chomsky

The famous Jewish-American linguist visited the Gaza Strip to attend a conference at Gaza's Islamic University. Chomsky was able to enter the Gaza Strip through the crossing at Rafah from Egypt as a member of a delegation that is to take part in the conference.

Israel barred Chomsky from entering the West Bank in May 2010. He was scheduled to give a speech there. Chomsky ended up broadcasting his speech by video link from Jordan.

Chomsky called on Israel to end the blockade imposed on the Gaza strip. The strip is ruled by Hamas. Israel argues that the blockade, first imposed back in June 2006, and made more restrictive in September 2007, is necessary to prevent weapons from entering Gaza.

The blockade is imposed both by land and by sea. Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to breach the blockade by sea. The blockade prevents some materials needed for reconstruction to enter the Gaza Strip and few exports are allowed, resulting in a situation where the strip is very dependent on foreign aid to survive.

According to Jamal Khudari, head of the Islamic University's administrative staff, Chomsky said that: "The Palestinian people have a right to live peacefully and in freedom." Chomsky has been a frequent critic of Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

In a broadcast from the university, aired on Palestinian television, Chomsky said: "Our trip to Gaza was very difficult, but we arrived here and I saw several things which I hoped before to see." Chomsky is scheduled to give a lecture on Saturday (Oct. 20) on the Arab Spring. He will also meet with several Palestinian human rights organizations. Khudari said that Chomsky would also be taken on a tour of refugee camps. In the 1950's Chomsky spent a few months in a Kibbutz in the Western Jezreal Valley.

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northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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