August 18, 2010
Palestinians complain about non-delivery of mail to Gaza
Palestinian officials complained to Israel and the international community about the non-delivery of mail to the Gaza Strip.
In the Gaza Strip, Yosef al Mansi, the minister of communications in the Hamas-led government, called on the Universal Postal Union and international human rights groups to help end what he called Israel’s “postal blockade” of Gaza.
Jalal Isma’il, Director General of the Gaza Communications Ministry, said mail disruptions are not new in Gaza, but they have worsened recently. He said for the past four months regular mail has been delayed and government mail has not been delivered.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a branch of the Israeli Defense Ministry, said the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah needs to take action.
“The transfer of mail has been delayed recently due to the fact that a replacement has not yet been found for Sufian Abu-Zubda, the Palestinian Authority official responsible for mail transfer, who was arrested by the Israeli security forces,” The Media Line, a news agency, quoted a statement from COGAT as saying. Abu Zubda was not replaced “despite Israeli appeals to the Ministry of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority and the Director General of the Palestinian Communications Ministry to receive a new contact person.”
According to the Media Line, the Palestinian Authority sent Israel three names of potential replacements for Abu-Zubda. Israeli security services are vetting the candidates.
Sulaiman Al-Zuhairi, Deputy Minister of Communications in the Palestinian Authority, said they are considering other options such a private mail carriers. .
“We are ready to deliver mail to Gaza at any given moment,” Al-Zuhairi told The Media Line. “We have sent three names of people to wait at Erez,” a crossing into the Gaza Strip, “to receive the mail, but they refuse for security and other reasons. They are stalling.”
The Canadian postal service informed its customers last week that it would not be able to deliver mail to Gaza.