Sunday, November 23, 2014

23-Nov-14: Who cares about rebuilding Gazan lives?

Kerem Shalom crossing seen from the Israeli side, August 2014
More than an ordinary stream of trucks; a lifeline [Image Source]
If you have not already seen our post from earlier today (including video) of Hamas trumpeting the tunnels they are busy digging and/or repairing in order to murder more Jews ["23-Nov-14: Gaza's wealth and where it is - and is not - going"], please do that before reading on. It's at the top of the list of messages Hamas is delivering to its captive population and the larger Arabic-speaking world.

Back? OK, so if it's not the thugs of Hamas (and it is surely not), who is taking seriously the need of the Palestinian Arab Gazans for repaired houses and a better life? From the Jerusalem Post:
Under an arrangement reached last month to ensure that building materials needed to rebuild the thousands of homes destroyed in the seven-week Operation Protective Edge are not diverted to build terror tunnels or manufacture rockets, the UN is to present Israeli engineers with construction plans, and the engineers will determine how much cement is needed. That cement then will be allowed into Gaza in stages, to enable inspection to ensure that it is being used for the designated purpose. If it is determined that the cement is being stolen and used for other purposes, the supply will stop. A recent assessment conducted by the UN found that more than 100,000 homes in Gaza remained damaged or destroyed. The first batch of construction materials since the Gaza military operation in the summer entered the Strip from Israel in September... ["25,000 Gazans to get access to construction materials to rebuild homes",, November 22, 2014]
Keep in mind the mentality of the parties concerned.
  • Israel fights the Hamas regime because of the jihadists' rockets, terror tunnels and single-minded desire to kill as many of us as possible. The fight that it fights can, given the circumstances, be devastating. (It's hard for us to see the logic of Israel doing less than that.) But at the same time, and with essentially the same goal in mind, Israel permits a steady flow of goods, services and electrical energy to traverse its roads and borders even while the Gazans are firing rockets into Israeli towns. Israeli repair crews, for instance (among many instances) risked their lives worked on fixing the high-voltage cables running into Gaza [see report] even while those Gazan rockets were being fired at them in August. Those cables had been put out of action by Hamas/Islamic Jihad Gazan rocket fire.
  • The Hamas inner circle systematically fails to provide anything close to a livable environment for the people they dominate. They consistently point to other parties (always other parties) who they say are responsible for almost everything, even including Gaza's own security. But - and this is mostly unknown to the Gazans themselves - when their own wives, children and close family members need the best possible, most conscientious and professional medical care, to which Zionist entity do they run (with not the slightest sign of embarrassment)?
Who cares about rebuilding Gazan houses and lives? Who cares about the Gazans?

According to the most recent daily report filed by the people at COGAT, Israel supervised the entry across its Gazan border of 1,014 people that day (last Monday), as well as the entry of 274 trucks carrying 7,335 tons of goods for the people of Gaza. An additional 94 semi-trailers that had been authorized and scheduled by the Israeli side (this has consistently happened over the years, as we know from visiting the crossings) simply did not show up. Requests for a entry/crossing permit from the Israelis is seen by the Hamas side as part of a war strategy, and dealt with accordingly, consequences be damned. Some 600 kg of Gazan fish were trucked through Israel to the towns of the Palestinian Authority the same day.

And there is some additional somewhat startling background, here: "Egypt tightens closure on Gaza as Israel eases it" [Ynet, yesterday].

A strange form of warfare, no? But it tells a reasonable person something about the relative values of the human societies on the two sides.

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