Monday, April 28, 2008

The Crisis in Hamas Manufacturing

When Hamas won the majority of seats in the Palestinian legislature Palestinian apologistas were quick to point out the alleged honesty and integrity of Hamas as an organization. The Jerusalem Post carries this account which highlights Hamas integrity and honesty in action:
Hamas militiamen in the Gaza Strip on Sunday attacked fuel trucks headed toward the Nahal Oz border crossing, forcing them to turn back, sources in the Palestinian Petroleum Authority said.

The fuel was supposed to go to the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] and hospitals in the Gaza Strip, the sources said. "Dozens of Hamas militiamen hurled stones and opened fire at the trucks," the sources added. "The trucks were on their way to receive fuel supplied by Israel. The drivers were forced to turn back. Some of them had their windshields smashed."

The Palestinian Petroleum Authority reached an agreement with Israel over the weekend to receive 250,000 liters of fuel after UNRWA complained that it did not have enough fuel to distribute food aid to more than 500,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry also accused Hamas of blocking fuel supplies to hospitals and clinics in the Gaza Strip. The ministry said Hamas gunmen opened fire at a number of trucks that were trying to transfer fuel to the hospitals and clinics.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza City said that at least on four occasions over the past few weeks, Hamas militiamen confiscated trucks loaded with fuel shortly as they were on their way from Nahal Oz to the city. They added that the fuel supplies were taken to Hamas-controlled security installations throughout the city.
"Hamas is taking the fuel for it the vehicles of is leaders and security forces," the eyewitnesses said. "Because of Hamas's actions, some hospitals have been forced to stop the work of ambulances and generators."
Hamas has also been exerting pressure on the Gaza Petrol Station Owners Association to close down their businesses so as to aggravate the crisis. Some of the station owners and workers said they were afraid to return to work after receiving death threats from Hamas militiamen and ordinary residents desperate to purchase gas and diesel for their vehicles.
There should be no doubt that Hamas is aiming to manufacture a crisis within the Gaza Strip in order to bring the international community’s wrath down on Israel to open its border to the Gaza Strip but for once, perhaps Hamas has overplayed its cards. The EU has even issued a statement condemning Hamas’ role in the fuel crisis – abet a mild rebuke to be sure, but perhaps we have now reached a tipping point.

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