The Electronic Intifada 26 June 2011
"Paul Murphy, a member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Ireland’s Socialist Party, is bound for Gaza as part of the second Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Only appointed to the Parliament in April — as a replacement for a colleague who had returned to domestic politics in Dublin — Murphy did not hesitate in responding to a plea from the flotilla’s organizers that public representatives join the siege-breaking voyage.
As he waited to set sail from a Mediterranean port (the precise location hasn’t been named for security reasons), Murphy spoke to The Electronic Intifada correspondent David Cronin.....
DC: Quartet envoy Tony Blair and various others have tried to convey the impression that the blockade of Gaza is being eased and that the situation is improving. What can you say about that?
PM: My understanding is that’s simply not true. If anything, it’s getting worse in Gaza as is to be expected after five years of a brutal blockade. There are 300,000 people living on less than a dollar a day, which is three times the amount before the blockade was imposed. According to the UN, wages have dropped by one-third since the blockade and unemployment is over 40 percent. That is a devastating situation.
We were talking [during preparations] that if people get cut, they should use antiseptic because otherwise there is a risk of blood poisoning. But people in Gaza don’t have access to basic medicines. In the absence of basic medicines, they are not able to conduct surgery.
The idea that things are getting better is obviously Israeli propaganda. It is a joke."