Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hamas still holding Gaza hostage by refusing fuel shipments

From Ma'an:
The Gaza Strip has not received enough fuel to resume normal electricity levels, a Gaza energy official told Ma'an on Saturday.

The deal as described by al-Nunu includes longer-term measures to increase the capacity of the power plant and link Gaza's electricity grid to Egyptian infrastructure. The shorter-term requirement is the delivery of fuel into Gaza, but a disagreement on the route of the fuel still appeared to be pending agreement.

Egypt wants to stop the use of underground tunnels for delivery of Egyptian fuel purchased by Palestinian authorities, and has severely reduced supply through the tunnel network, prompting the current crisis.

The Gaza government is pressing for the Rafah terminal between the countries to be equipped for fuel transfer, and is reluctant to accept fuel to be delivered via the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.

The government fears Israel will use control of supplies to squeeze the coastal strip.

However, Rafah currently is only fitted for passengers, and its development is restricted by an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

"We are still waiting for the Egyptian agreement to let fuel enter Gaza officially and legally," Abu al-Amreen told Ma'an.
As I have noted several times, Israel never restricted the flow if fuel to Gaza except for logistical reasons, and was regularly supplying all of Gaza's power plant needs until January 2011 when Hamas refused the shipments.

So when you cut out all the double-talk, Hamas is less interested in helping Gazans than it is in refusing to get fuel through Kerem Shalom. Hamas is using the crisis as an excuse to gain politically - and Gazans are the ones suffering because of it. Hamas knows that if the fuel goes through Kerem Shalom, there would be no political pressure on Egypt to prioritize other delivery methods, so Hamas prefers to keep Gaza in the dark - endangering  the electric supply to hospitals, water treatment plants and other infrastructure - to get its message across.

The entire crisis is an exercise in cynicism and disregard for the lives of Gazans, and yet the world is still fooled by Hamas' subterfuge.

Do you think that "pro-Palestinian" activists would ever say a word against Hamas? Have they ever?