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Sunday, January 20, 2008

MSM lies, Israel still supplies Gaza with electricity

The headlines from around the web:

Israel cuts off Gaza's electricity
Gazans reel under power shutdown
Gaza City Goes Dark After Power Cut
Gaza in power cut as blockade bites
Gaza Residents Plunged Into Darkness

Sure sounds like Israel has cut all electricity to Gaza, doesn't it?

And, as happens too often, the MSM is lying, sometimes explicitly and sometimes by broad implication.

The truth?
The Israeli Electric Company (IEC) is supplying nearly 70% of electricity to the Gaza Strip despite Palestinians' claims of a power shortage in Gaza, said Miko Zarfati, the chairman of the workers' committee at the power company.

"This is Palestinian spin. No one has stopped the supply of electricity to the Strip," Zarfati told Ynet. He claimed that his employees worked day and night in a power plant in Ashkelon while putting themselves in danger of being hit by Qassam rockets falling in the area.

The Gaza power plant only produces 30% of the electricity consumed in the Strip while Israel supplies the rest.

"It is simply offensive and arrogant for them to claim that there is shortage," Zarfati said.

The IEC employee was upset that Israel continues to supply electricity to Gaza while the Qassam rockets continue to land in the western Negev.

"The situation is totally absurd. We're continuing to supply them electricity despite the (demand) overload for electricity in Israel and despite the fact that Israeli residents and Electric Company workers that are being sent to Gaza Vicinity communities are under threat from Qassam rockets," Zarfati railed.

"The Electric Company sends people to fix power outages that are caused from the Qassam barrages everyday in Sderot and the Gaza vicinity and more than one worker has already been injured in these rocket attacks."

According to Zarafti, the workers have been pressuring him to cut off the flow of electricity to the Strip: "I am being pressured to disconnect the electricity, but I am of course a law-abiding man and I cannot do this.

The decision to disconnect the electricity to Gaza is a decision which can only be made by the Israeli government and I understand the consideration sagainst shutting off the power."

The workers' committee chairman has been thinking of ways to improve the lives of the employees on the front line. "I explode with anger and feel hopeless in the face of the workers' situation and in the face of the whole situation in the Gaza vicinity and in Ashkelon," Zarfati continued.

"I appealed to the Finance Ministry and asked them to approve a plan to reward these employees in some way, a few cents for everything they're going through. Unfortunately, I received a negative response."

The Treasury responded saying "no precedents will be created with regards to salary bonuses for workers living in dangerous areas."

Not only is Israel still supplying Gaza with 70% of its electricity directly - it forces its electric utility employees to endanger their own lives, under Qassam and Katyusha fire, to keep that electricity supply up and running.

This is an astonishing bit of dishonesty from the mainstream media in spinning the story the way they are.

We already knew that Gazan terrorists have been shooting rockets not only at Israel but at the border crossings as well, limiting their own ability to get humanitarian aid, for months. But the MSM doesn't mention it.

We already knew that even though Israel is under no obligation to provide food, fuel or medicine to Gaza, it still accepts dozens of medical patients daily (70 on Sunday alone.) But the MSM barely addresses this.

And now, we learn that Israel puts its own citizens in danger in order to keep the electricity flowing to Gaza. And the MSM happily accepts the Palestinian lies as gospel as it hammers Israel for creating a crisis that doesn't exist.

UPDATE: Honest Reporting covers this well.