|A Gulf State newspaper published this picture in March 2014 with|
a caption saying it show a Gaza City power station
shut down "due to a lack of fuel from Israel", without explaining
that "lack of fuel" in Gazan real-politik is almost invariably
self-inflicted by the Hamas regime for political advantage [Image Source]
Reuters ["Gaza power plant resumes operations, director says"] this afternoon reports on something that borders on a miracle (but is not):
Gaza's only power plant has resumed operation far sooner than expected after being damaged during last summer's war between Israel and Palestinian militants. Rafiq Maliha, general director of the facility, told Reuters its generators went back online on Sunday, producing 90 megawatts out of a total potential capacity of 140 MW. The plant provides power to around half of Gaza's 1.8 million people. The Gaza Company for Generating Electricity, which operates the plant, said an Israeli tank shell hit the main fuel tanks during the war, taking out almost all capacity. It originally estimated that repairs could take as long a year.So we can say bye-bye to reports (and photos) of Palestinian Arab Gazans struggling to live lives devoid of electric power, right? Not so much.
Maliha said the plant could be switched off again on Tuesday unless more fuel is supplied by the Palestinian Energy Authority. At peak demand, the Gaza Strip needs around 280 MW of power. Beyond what is produced locally, Israel supplies around 120 MW by electricity lines and Egypt around 17 MW, meaning there is always a shortage. Most Gaza residents have had to adapt to six hours of electricity a day since the plant stopped. Sources at the company said they expected rolling blackouts to continue, with power going on and off every eight hours.We took a look at this more than two years ago ["2-Apr-12: More darkness in and from Hamas-controlled Gaza, and this time the price is paid in the silent, unnoticed deaths of children"]. We said then news reports from Gaza falsely depicted Israel cold-heartedly cutting off power to Gaza's teeming masses. The claims were not new; we referred to several earlier posts along similar lines:
- "28-Oct-12: What lies behind ongoing efforts to paint Gaza as a region under Israeli siege?"
- "3-Mar-13: The terrorists of Gaza keep trying to destroy the electric power station that feeds them"
- "13-Jul-14: Even more darkness in Gaza" - in this one, we noted that the rocket men of Gaza had managed to destroy infrastructure on the Israeli side with their Qassam rockets - infrastructure that existed in order to deliver electricity to the Palestinian Arabs living in the Hamas-controlled entity. It's breathtaking: some 70,000 Palestinian Arabs were left without power in Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis, entirely because of Hamas actions. This had nothing to do with Israel.
The truth of the bizarre situation was that even as the terrorist gunmen and rocket-firers of Gaza, under Hamas inspiration and control, were trying to bring the Ashkelon plant to its knees, Israeli power workers inside the Ashkelon plant continued to work round the clock supplying electricity to the Gazans even while they were under constant Qassam fire. At the simple human level, this is a non-trivial point. The head of the Israel Electric Corporation workers' committee chairman, Miko Zarfati, said it as plainly as you would want back at the time (here, in 2008, and in our post , but (and this can be checked) his words were barely quoted anywhere.
This is shocking. Instead of facing up to the blatant manipulation of Hamas, news-agencies throughout the civilized world swallowed the bait and published self-evidently-dishonest news photos like the one below showing politicians sitting in the dark in Gaza:
|It is indeed deeply dark inside Gaza's political quarters, but only when you first close|
the curtains in the middle of the day [Image Source: Reuters]
due to a deliberate policy of Hamas, which opposes import of fuel from Israel. As a result, the Gaza power station is operating at 20% capacity