Tuesday, April 18, 2017

18-Apr-17: In Gaza, a decade of darkness and a never-ending blame-game

Image Source
Times must be getting really tough down there in the Gaza Strip now that one of the most highly publicized of the plagues traditionally blamed on the "Zionist entity" has become (not for the first time) the subject of bitter mutual accusations between the two rival Palestinian Arab statelets - the PLO-controlled PA, and the Islamist thugocracy of Hamas.

Below is an extract from an Albawaba news report ["Gaza thrown into darkness as Hamas-Fatah spat worsens"] datelined April 16, 2017. (Albawaba is based in Jordan, with offices in Dubai, and calls itself "the largest independent producer and distributor of content in the Middle East... providing first-rate coverage of the Middle East from a local perspective.")
Gaza was plunged into darkness late Friday as the territory's Hamas-run power authority cut electricity across the besieged enclave in protest against the Palestinian Authority. Hamas, who control Gaza, and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, have for years blamed each other for an electricity crisis in the besieged coastal enclave.
Gaza's power alternates on eight-hour cycles, with those who can afford it using generators in the down times.
On Friday, Gaza's power authority cut electricity in the coastal territory from 7 pm until 11 pm in protest against the PA's recent decision to cut public sector salaries for Gaza employees and tax disputes over the import of fuel. The PA responded by saying Hamas was attempting to create a "new crisis" in Gaza, according to Ma’an News Agency.
Earlier in April, a decision by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to impose pay cuts on its civil servants in Gaza sparked widespread anger. Tens of thousands took to the streets in Gaza to protest the 30-percent pay cut, with demonstrators calling on PA president Mahmoud Abbas to sack his government. The PA says it was forced into the move because its budget has been hit by falling foreign aid. PA salaries in the West Bank, however, remained untouched.
Gaza's sole power plant is on the verge of shutting down as Qatari and Turkish fuel supplies run out. Gazan authorities have no other choice than to buy additional fuel from the PA, but say recent tax hikes make it unaffordable.
In January, thousands of Gazans took the streets to protest chronic power shortages in one of the largest unauthorised protests in Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007. Hamas security forces quickly suppressed the demonstration and blocked journalists from filming. A day earlier, a local comedian was arrested for making a satirical video criticising power cuts. "There is no work, no (border) crossing points, no food, no water and also no electricity," Adel al-Mashwakhi said in the video clip, which amassed over 250,000 views.
But with that explanation, be assured dear readers that there is no Palestinian Arab that cannot - by hook, crook or outright fabrication - be blamed on the Zionists. Here's how the Albawaba piece ends:
In 2015, the United Nations warned that Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current political and economic trends caused by Israeli policies continue.
From our 2008 post: We wondered then whether the Reuters
photographer, depicting Gazan legislators working
by candle-light as clearly-visible daylight is shut out
by curtains, had a moron for an editor. [Image Source
To put that last claim into some perspective, please take a look at some relevant earlier posts of ours: "05-Mar-17: What Gaza's Pal Arabs think about the electricity problems in Gaza"; "30-Apr-15: What Gaza's oppressed know that reporters don't, and why it matters"; "28-Oct-12: What lies behind ongoing efforts to paint Gaza as a region under Israeli siege?"; and from nearly a decade ago when Hamas' silly games were not so different from today's: "10-Feb-08: The lies that pictures can tell".

That 2008 post, replete with some very revealing news photographs that tried to pin serious malfeasance on Israelis for "cheating" the Gazans of electric power, is worth going back to review.

Whatever has changed in the world of the Palestinian Arabs, one aspect has not: they continue to live in the dark, shutting out the light by whatever means and relying on the great news factories of the world to magnify and spread their baseless fury at Israel.

UPDATE Thursday April 20, 2017: The capacity of the two Palestinian Arab statelets - PLO/Fatah/PA and Hamas - to ride roughshod over the welfare of the people whose lives they dominate is a reality that gets almost no serious media attention. A report today by Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, updating the dire situation in Gaza ["Gaza hospitals on verge of blackout amid energy crisis"] says:
Hospitals in the Gaza Strip could face blackouts within days as an energy crisis continues to throttle power supplies in the Palestinian enclave. Israel and Palestinian officials estimated Thursday that hospitals would finish their reserve fuel for generators within 48-72 hours. On Sunday Gaza’s only functioning power station stopped working after running out of fuel. The crisis was compounded by a technical fault shutting down a power line between Egypt and Gaza that had provided over six hours of electricity a day. Gazans now have just four hours of electricity, followed by 12-hour blackouts, down from two eight-hour periods of electricity a day when the plant is operating normally and supplies are coming in from outside the enclave... On Wednesday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov called on Palestinian leaders to put aside their internal squabbles and solve the energy crisis.
And who cares? Certainly not the people who control the people.

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