Monday, January 21, 2008


How is Israel's attempt to pressure Hamas in Gaza going?
"Security officials in Jerusalem said Sunday night that the electrical supply difficulties in the Gaza Strip were greater than Israel had previously expected when it cut off fuel to the coastal territory earlier in the day.

"Gaza City was dark Sunday night after the Hamas government shut down the Palestinian power plant that supplies some of the electricity in the Strip.

"Hamas spokesmen blamed Israel for the power shortage following the closure of the border crossings through which fuel for the power plant is brought into Gaza, but Israel said it is providing 75 percent of Gaza's electricity and Egypt is providing another 5 percent. Nonetheless, the Jerusalem sources said the fuel supply to Gaza was tens of percent less than planned, a problem exacerbated by the closure.

"'There is certainly a shortage of fuel,' a security official said. 'Nonetheless, it's clear that Hamas is blowing up the crisis for its needs, in order to take advantage of the pictures of darkness in Gaza for its public relations needs in the Arab world and the international community.'

"Four hours after the blackout, Hamas said that five patients died because of the cutoff of electricity in hospitals."

OK, so can we turn the power supply back on now? It's clearly the right thing to do from a humanitarian perspective, and would also deny Hamas the PR victory it will undoubtedly win. This tactic by Israel is no better than the indiscriminate rocket fire to which it has been subjected.

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