Besieged Gaza engulfed in darkness

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Editor

Rabi' al-Thani 08, 1433 2012-03-01

Editorials

by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 1, Rabi' al-Thani, 1433)

The 1.5 million people of Gaza have been plunged into darkness as a result of Israel shutting diesel supplies to the tiny enclave. Gaza's sole power station that was badly damaged during Israel's brutal assault of December 2008–January 2009, has been idle because there is no fuel. Not only homes and schools but also hospitals are engulfed in darkness; operations cannot be performed because of lack of electricity. Conditions in hospitals were already bad due to acute shortage of medicines, again the result of the Israeli siege that was tightened following Hamas taking power in July 2007. Gaza currently teeters on the brink. The British charity, Oxfam, has warned of dire consequences. "If we want to solve the electricity crisis once and for all, we need a full and consistent opening of all of Gaza's crossings in accordance with international law," according to Catherine Essoyan, regional director of Oxfam.

The people of Gaza have faced a brutal siege imposed by Zionist Israel that has deprived them of food, medicines and baby milk formula. The situation has now been exacerbated by the stoppage of fuel. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was planning to visit Cairo on February 26 (after Crescent goes to press) to request Egypt to supply diesel directly to Gaza instead of sending it through the Israeli pumping station. Israel routinely shuts down supplies to punish the Palestinians. The Zionists have also threatened to cut off water to Gaza. That would be catastrophic.

Since Hamas assumed power in 2007, Gaza has been subjected to the most punishing sanctions and siege. Of the 1,200 trucks of supplies needed on a daily basis, Israel allows only about 100 trucks. These are also subject to its whims and non-existent mercy. Following Israel's illegal and brutal war in 2008–2009, in which it killed more than 1,400 civilians, one-third of them children, and virtually destroyed the entire infrastructure, Israel has refused to allow any construction material or food in sufficient quantities to reach the people. This is collective punishment, illegal under international law and has been denounced by human rights organizations worldwide but because Western governments support the Zionist regime, it gets away, literally with murder and war crimes.

In January 2010, for instance, Israel shut the fuel pipeline to Gaza. Then on May 31, 2010, its navy attacked the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish ship carrying food, medicines and milk formula to the besieged people. The attack occurred in international waters in clear violation of all international laws. All the aid that was being shipped to Gaza on the freedom flotilla was confiscated by Israel; piracy on the high seas would be a better description of its actions. The Zionist attackers also murdered eight Turkish aid workers and a young American citizen of Turkish origin. These acts of barbarism were condemned by virtually the entire world but the craven American leaders — from President Barack Obama to his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton — continued to parrot the line that "Israel had the right to defend itself." How does the delivery of food, medicines and baby milk formula to the children of Gaza threaten Israel? The Zionists, of course, continue with their murderous attacks. During February, Gaza's civilian neighborhoods were bombed on several occasions killing or wounding people in their homes.

Israeli crimes and barbarism are well known and even if the Zionist entity is routinely shielded from international opprobrium by the US, what about the Arabian rulers and monarchs? They blow hot and cold about the events in Syria where armed gangs are fighting against the government but in Palestine, and especially Gaza, the people are being brutalized and there is hardly a whisper from their majesties and excellencies. Are Palestinian lives inferior to those of the Syrians and Libyans? Why has the Arab League, that toothless body of Arabian potentates not convened even an ordinary meeting, much less an "extraordinary" one that it is so fond of doing, to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza? The Zionists have been perpetrating war crimes against the hapless Palestinians for decades but this has evoked little concern in Arabian capitals.

The plight of the people of Gaza exposes the Arabian rulers yet again as puppets of the US and Zionist Israel. Their removal from power should be an urgent priority of the global Islamic movement so that Muslims can regain their honor and dignity and bring relief and comfort not only to the long-oppressed people of Palestine but also people elsewhere in the Muslim East.

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