Tuesday, October 02, 2012

2-Oct-12: Gaza and the perils of Arab solidarity

[Image Source]
We posted here a few days ago [28-Sep-12: In Gaza, children die and families are outraged; their anger is channeled at Hamas] about the rising tide of anger directed at their Hamas overlords by parts of Gaza's oppressed and under-served population. 
Hamas-controlled Gaza is one of the world's most repressive regimes. The levels of fear and intimidation there are well-known to people who come into contact with ordinary Palestinian Arab Gazans, as we heard today from people who interact with Gaza and Gazans every day. The willingness of the 1.7 million population to continue to be cowed and held captive to a messianic-Islamist vision of over-running the hated Israelis and destroying their state at huge cost to the Gazans has limits... Whenever people take to the streets and scream their anger at the Islamist thugs of Hamas, there's hope for some degree of change in the future. [More]
In the past hour, the Bethlehem-based Palestinian news agency Maan has reported on more of the same:

Gaza: 5 hurt as officers remove illegal structures
Published Tuesday October 2, 2012 at 6:31pm    
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Five people including two police officers and a land authority officer were injured Tuesday in the northern Gaza Strip during clashes between police and locals. Security sources in the Hamas-run government in Gaza told Ma’an that police officers escorted a land authority officer to remove illegal structures erected on public lands. Suddenly, added the sources, locals started to pelt stones at the officers injuring two and a land authority officer moderately.
Spokesman of the Hamas-run ministry of interior Islam Shahwan said police officers were taken by surprise, and they tried their best to convince the stone-throwers to stop. As stones continued, he added, officers fired warning shots into the air and as a result two people were moderately injured. Shahwan said in a statement that police were carrying out its normal duties helping the land authority officers.
He expressed his sorrow for the drastic results asserting that police officers were obliged to do what they did because the citizens insisted to continue to throw stones at them. 
This might also be a good time to remind you of our posting from yesterday: "1-Oct-12: Hamas corruption: More-than-keeping-up with the Fatah kleptocrats". Take a look if you're not already familiar with the endemic corruption inside the terrorist organization.

Meanwhile, the ideological Tweedledum to Hamas' Tweedledee - namely Egypt's Moslem Brotherhood - has clarified its contribution to Gaza's plight today:

Hamas upset about new Egyptian policy towards Gaza
English.news.cn [Xinhua]  2012-10-02 20:36:51            
GAZA, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement is upset about Egypt's mounting security campaign on the borderline area between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, a well-informed source in Gaza said Tuesday. The source, close to Hamas and speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the movement watches with anger and disappointment the latest developments along the border. Dozens of smuggling tunnels underneath the borderline of Egypt and Gaza were sealed off or destroyed, the source said, adding that the Gaza Strip's interests would be harmed if Egypt finds no alternative to the tunnels, through which fuels and foods are brought to the enclave after Israel imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip in June 2007. Egypt intensified its security campaign on the tunnels after the deadly attack carried out by radical Islamists on Aug. 5 during which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and seven others were wounded.
According to other well-informed sources in Hamas, Egypt has either destroyed or shut down 350 out of 800 tunnels operating underneath its borders with the Gaza Strip... Hundreds of Hamas supporters have demonstrated for several days, calling on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to help the Palestinians finding an alternative to the tunnels.
And while the Hamas inner circle are doing stunningly well from the tunnel economy and the wealth it generates [refer to "How Many Millionaires Live in the "Impoverished" Gaza Strip?"], here's another reminder of one aspect of its cost:

1 Palestinian dead in Gaza tunnel collapse
Federation of Arab News Agencies, October 2, 2012
Gaza City, Oct 2 (Petra) — One Palestinian died and another was injured on Tuesday in the collapse of a smuggling tunnel on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Palestinian sources said the tunnel in the border town of Rafah gave way killing a man in his twenties and injured another.
If you get to see the Kerem Shalom and Erez crossings from up close as we did last week, you can hardly fail to be impressed by the massive (that's the correct word) humanitarian efforts Israel has made to open the gates of Gaza to an almost unlimited range of goods - in both directions. The capacity of Kerem Shalom (after a heavy Israeli investment funded by us ordinary Israeli taxpayers) to serve as a two-way gateway is vast - and greatly (and deliberately) under-utilized by the Gazan Palestinian Arab regime. It's a subject we're going to visit again here in the next few days.

President Haniyeh and his inner circle no doubt have their own reasons for playing public relations games instead of tapping into the export opportunities that Israel facilitates for their citizens and their economy. As to why the Hamas regime stands so firmly behind the tunnels for in-bound goods, that's the billion dollar question. No, on reflection actually it's not. Hamas and its favored cronies have been making out like bandits for years, thanks to those tunnels. And if it lets them keep hammering away at their "Gaza under siege" and Gaza-as-concentration-camp memes, then that's surely a bonus.

And by the way, yet another bogus siege-busting convoy arrived in Gaza on Sunday with participants from Egypt (!), Jordan, Bahrain, Lebanon and South Africa. The news report (here, if you have an appetite for it) offers up the customary mantra about "the Arab people and the international activists... challenging the illegal Israeli siege". We're assuming the unadorned truth would simply be unpalatable to their readers.

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