American-Jewish author Noam Chomsky made his first trip to Gaza Thursday, as a guest of its Islamic University, as its administrative board head Jamal al-Khudari claimed he called for an end of “the Israeli siege on Gaza”.
“The Palestinian people have a right to live peacefully and in freedom,” he was also reported as saying. Palestinian tv broadcast an interview on his arrival at the university in which he said “our trip to Gaza was very difficult, but we arrived here and I saw several things I hoped before to see”.
Fierce Israel critic, Linguistics professor Chomsky addressed a conference held by the university on Saturday on the Arab Spring and the future of foreign policy in the Middle East. He is also a staunch opponent of US foreign policy.
In May 2010, Israel refused Chomsky entry to the West Bank where he was due to deliver an address. He later broadcast his speech by video link from Jordan. Israel’s barring of the distinguished intellectual received significant press coverage from foreign media outlets.
At a UN Security Council meeting Monday, the body’s Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman highlighted concerns about sporadic eruptions of violence in the Gaza Strip.
A serious escalation occurred, he said, on October 7, when an Israeli air strike killed an alleged militant and seriously injured another, as well as eight civilians in Gaza. Some 50 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel the following day.
“We must all work to ensure that calm is realized, the closure regime is lifted and the Palestinian divide ends,” the UN political chief said. “Regrettably, there is no new progress to report in ending that divide.”
Israel says its blockade of the coastal strip, first imposed in June 2006 and tightened in September 2007, is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist movement.