Friday, March 21, 2008

Egypt likes Israeli "occupation" of Gaza

Palestinian and Israeli sources said yesterday Israeli and Egyptian representatives agreed in principle to a deal that would replace Israel with Egypt as the Gaza Strip’s sole electricity provider.

Under the deal, Egypt would set up a new power line from the Sinai Peninsula town of Arish to the nearby Gaza Strip. The 150-megawatt line would cost $35 million and be operational within two years.

Egypt currently provides the Gaza Strip with only 7 megawatts of power, while Israel provides 124 megawatts through 10 different lines. A local power station produces the remainder.

Omar Kittaneh, chairman of Palestinian Energy Committee, who is in charge of the project on the Palestinian side, said the Egyptian plan would be funded by the Islamic Development Bank. According to Kittaneh, tenders will be floated in the next few days.

But, as Palestinian Press Agency reported later, Egypt denied any such deal (autotranslated):

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry denied news media reports today that Egypt accepted assumed responsibility to provide electricity to the Gaza Strip.
Why would Egypt prefer that the poor, cold, starving Palestinian Arabs in Gaza remain in a situation where they do not have a reliable electricity supply?

It must be that, even though Israel is not legally occupying Gaza, Egypt prefers that fiction - and its resultant consequences to Gaza residents - to actually helping their fellow Arab "brethren."

See also:
Gaza and International Law
PalArabs try to have it both ways in Gaza
Egypt's violent reaction to idea of expanding Gaza into Sinai