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Monday, April 02, 2012

Gaza fuel crisis update

Last week, Hamas, in reaction to its artificially created  crisis where it refuses to accept fuel from Israel, started offering carpools for people to use Hamas state vehicles to get to work.

Now, Gazans are wondering - how do these Hamas vehicles have fuel themselves? Diesel is completely unavailable in Gaza, ambulances can no longer be used, but Hamas government officials still have fuel for their own cars! They are saying that Hamas confiscated the fuel it needed from petrol stations and are using it exclusively for their own purposes, and trying to pretend to be the "good guys" as they exploit the fake crisis.

Meanwhile, the three children who were killed yesterday in a Gaza house fire caused by candles igniting stored fuel  were declared "martyrs" by Mahmoud Abbas, with the implication that they died as part of a war. It is unclear if he considers it as if they were killed by Hamas or Israel. Either way, he is using that status to pay the families martyr money, which of course comes from Western aid.

The PFLP called on both Hamas and Fatah to put aside their differences and find a solution to the crisis.

There are also shortages of cooking gas. Israel does transfer these through Kerem Shalom but it only ships what Gaza accepts, and Hamas has been limiting that amount as well. But that's not the only problem - now there are problems with transporting the gas that is being shipped inside Gaza because of the shortage of diesel for the distribution trucks.

Israel is shipping some 150,000 liters of diesel through Kerem Shalom today. The Red Cross is bringing it in and paying for it for Gaza hospitals to be able to use their generators.

Al Dameer, a pseudo-human rights body, called for both the PA and Hamas to work together to find a solution to the problem, but hinted that Hamas' refusal to accept fuel from Israel might be legitimate. It said "Al Dameer calls upon the Gaza Government to work immediately with all in order to develop plans that contribute in finding temporary solutions for this continual crisis until achieving the final solution. It should be taken into consideration, the economical and social conditions of Gaza Population before developing these plans." As if Gazans would riot if fuel came from Israel, so their sky-high black market prices are reduced to merely the going market rate after PA taxes. (As usual, they find a way to blame Israel as well, calling it the "occupying power" of Gaza.)

It has now been nearly two months since Egypt cracked down on illegal fuel smuggling to Gaza, the only method of obtaining power plant fuel that the far-thinking Gaza government allowed for over a year.