The Experiment in Gaza

By Neve Gordon:

“The experiment in famine began on January 18, 2008. Israel hermetically closed all of Gaza’s borders, preventing food, medicine and fuel from entering the Strip. Power cuts, which had been frequent for many months, were extended to 12 hours per day. Because of the electricity shortage, at least 40 percent of Gazans have not had access to running water (which is channeled through electric pumps) for days and the sewage system has broken down. The raw sewage that has not spilled onto the streets is being poured into the sea at a daily rate of 30 million liters. Hospitals have been forced to rely on emergency generators, leading them to cut back, yet again, on the already limited services offered to the Palestinian population. The World Food Programme has reported critical shortages of food and declared that it is unable to provide 10,000 of the poorest Gazans with three out of the five foodstuffs they normally receive.

After five days of extreme suffering, a group of Hamas militants took the lead and blew-up parts of the steel wall along the Egyptian border. Within hours, more than 100,000 Gazans crossed the border into Egypt. They were hungry, thirsty, and sick of being locked up in a filthy cage. Once in Egypt, they bought everything they could get their hands on and waited patiently for the international community to intervene on their behalf. Yet the world leaders failed them again, and on January 28, after a five-day respite, the iron wall was re-erected and the Palestinians were pushed back into the world’s largest prison—the Gaza Strip.”

Read full artilce at In These Times

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