GAZA CITY -- The batteries are the size of a button on a man's shirt, small silvery dots that power hearing aids for several hundred Palestinian students taught by the Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza City.Everyone knows that the first paragraphs of any news story are the only ones that 90% of the readers see, and these first paragraphs are a doozy. Heartless Israel is stopping the supply of hearing-aid batteries to first graders in Gaza, along with - gasp - chocolate!
Now the batteries, marketed by Radio Shack, are all but used up. The few that are left are losing power, turning voices into unintelligible echoes in the ears of Hala Abu Saif's 20 first-grade students.
The Israeli government is increasingly restricting the import into the Gaza Strip of batteries, anesthesia drugs, antibiotics, tobacco, coffee, gasoline, diesel fuel and other basic items, including chocolate and compressed air to make soft drinks.
This punishing seal has reduced Gaza, a territory of almost 1.5 million people, to beggar status, unable to maintain an effective public health system, administer public schools or preserve the traditional pleasures of everyday life by the sea.
Let's jump ahead a few dozen paragraphs to the end of the article, that no one ever looks at. Sprinkled towards the end reporter managed to touch fleetingly on some other possible factors for Gaza's woes in between other bash-Israel sections:
But since the rocket attacks from Gaza began -- killing a total of 13 Israeli citizens since the start of the most recent Palestinian uprising in September 2000 -- the frequent closure of crossings to Israel has choked the export-reliant Palestinian economy....See how even-handed the esteemed WaPo is? They'll mention that the Gazans elected a bloodthirsty terror group and supported them in their takeover of Gaza, killing hundreds, and that Gazan terror groups shoot rockets at the very sources of supplies that the WaPo is crying about for 95% of the article. Just they'll do it in such a way that you can barely notice it.
Hamas, which won parliamentary elections in January 2006, trounced the U.S.-backed Fatah movement in Gaza in June. The violent takeover, which Hamas swiftly consolidated politically and culturally, cemented the strip's isolation....
Now rolling blackouts have begun across the strip, partly because the Palestinian Authority refused for days last week to pay the Israeli company that supplies fuel to Gaza....
Trucks carrying tobacco and coffee usually have low priority in the lines backed up at the crossings. Israeli military officials say they try to push 60 to 70 trucks through a day, despite frequent rocket and small-arms attacks.
Because we wouldn't want the intrepid reporter saying anything explicitly bad about Hamas or the people that freely elected them. After all, he has to work in Gaza, to tell the truth would be suicidal! Israel won't kidnap him for blaming the Zionists for Gaza's self-inflicted woes.
An indication of how utterly biased this article is can be seen by the fact that it was reprinted in the rabidly anti-semitic Uruknet website, that normally spends its time reprinting Al-Qaeda press releases.
Way to go, WaPo!