Monday, 20 February 2012

Emergency fuel arrives from Egypt via Gaza tunnels but only enough for 2 hours a day


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A limited delivery of fuel arrived in the Gaza Strip on Monday, brought in through underground tunnels from Egypt, as the energy authority director said he expects a long term solution to the widespread blackouts to be agreed with Egypt this week.

The fuel has allowed the power authority to reactivate one of the four generators at Gaza's sole power plant, the authority said in a statement.

The arrival of 300,000 liters of fuel is expected to provide Gaza's 1.7 million residents with an additional two hours of electricity per day. Since the plant shut down last Tuesday, as deliveries were severely reduced from Egypt, Gaza has had only six hours of power each day.

Egypt had earlier pledged a much larger shipment. An Egyptian MP said Saturday that Egypt would begin pumping 500,000 liters of fuel into Gaza per day for the power plant and 100,000 for gas stations starting Sunday.

But Egypt wants to stop the use of underground tunnels for delivery of Egyptian fuel purchased by Palestinian authorities, a Ma'an correspondent said.

Palestinian Energy Authority Director Omar Kattana said Monday that crisis will be resolved this week, after a delegation of energy officials returned from talks in Egypt.

Egypt has agreed to increase electricity to Gaza that comes directly through power lines on the Rafah border, and a joint Egyptian-Palestinian committee has been formed to examine how fuel can be delivered through "official channels", he said. more

What @IDFSpokesperson doesn't say - last year 108 Palestinians killed by projectiles v 3 Israelis


by Yousef Munayyer

This post first appeared on the Palestine Center blog Permission to Narrate (Mondoweiss):

If a rocket from Gaza falls in the middle of the desert, does it make a sound?

It does if you are on Twitter. Regular updates on just about every projectile fired from Gaza is reported by the Israeli military's official twitter account @IDFSpokesperson as well as from the accounts of other Israeli military figures like that of spokesperson @AvitalLeibovich.

But what about projectiles fired by Israel into Gaza? You'd think that since this is actual Israeli military activity the spokespeople from the Israeli military would provide this information.

I often ask the @IDFspokesperson and @AvitalLeibovich to provide this information to allow for a clearer, more accurate picture of the cross border dynamics of violence. One such occasion was on last Friday - you can see the convo on Twitter below:



She clearly dodges the question and finally refers me to their blog after I made it clear that her silence might be indicative of something they are hiding.

I checked out the blog and even though they have plenty of numbers on projectiles from Gaza, they don't present similar data of their own activities. I wasn't expecting them to present such information since the objective of the Israeli military spokesperson is to protect the image of the Israeli military, a feat that is increasingly difficult with every passing year of a soon to be 45 year old occupation and in an era where information is readily available via the internet.

So, what are they hiding? What is it about the numbers that they won't tell you - the data on Israeli military fire into Gaza - that prevents them from sharing it in the same fashion they share information on projectiles from Gaza?...

...In 2011, the projectiles fired by the Israeli military into Gaza have been responsible for the death of 108 Palestinians, of which 15 where women or children and the injury of 468 Palestinians of which 143 where women or children. The methods by which these causalities were inflicted by Israeli projectiles breaks down as follows: 57% or 310, were caused by Israeli Aircraft Missile fire, 28% or 150 where from Israeli live ammunition, 11% or 59 were from Israeli tank shells while another 3% or 18 were from Israeli mortar fire.

Conversely, rocket fire from Gaza in 2011 has resulted in the death of 3 Israelis.
more

Video: David Rovics's protest song for hunger strike - 'Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands'


Khader Adnan's current hunger strike, presumably to the death, is more than a little reminiscent of the IRA hunger strikes of 1981. As, no doubt, the Israeli occupation of Palestine is more than a little reminiscent of the British occupation of Ireland, most particularly during the Troubles.

Lyric:

Khader Adnan, Bobby Sands

Khader Adnan grew up near Jenin City
You could say he was a product of his time
Ever since he was a kid he'd get arrested
Though he was never charged with any crime
Spending half his life in prison
A life lived like so many of his friends
Arbitrary and indefinite detention
Never knowing if your jail time would end
Khader Adnan was arrested last December
Again he wasn't told the reason why
He was shackled, he was beaten, he was tortured
There beneath the Middle Eastern sky
Perhaps there was a moment when he realized
That right then, with his body, he'd say no
But from then on he refused to eat another meal
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Khader Adnan grew up in a war zone
But all the tanks and planes were only on one side
It was a type of war that they call occupation
Settlement, removal, fratricide
And anyone who talked about resistance
Who thought they did not deserve to be a slave
Would be looking down the barrel of a gun
And often find themselves inside an early grave
Khader Adnan loves his wife and daughters
And he likes to eat his daily bread
But in prison he can't see his children
Or live life with the lady that he wed
So on behalf of all the children without fathers
He decided he had to strike a blow
He said I will have dignity or death
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Each time Khader Adnan was arrested
In prison he would learn a little more
And soon he became the teacher
And he'd talk about the times that came before
They talked about civil disobedience
They talked about the ballot and the gun
They talked about the Occupied Six Counties
And the H Blocks in 1981
Khader Adnan talked of perseverance
And how someday their people might be free
How someday they might hear their children laughing
Unafraid, how someday things could be
And then at 3:30 on one morning
The soldiers came, their rifles pointed low
And they took Khader Adnan from his family
Like in Belfast not many years ago

They say Khader Adnan is a terrorist
Just like they said of Bobby Sands
Because he dares speak out against injustice
Because he dares to make a stand
Because he dares believe that he is human
And he does not deserve to live this way
Because he dares to consider an alternative
Because he dares imagine a new day
Khader Adnan lost his liberty before he was born
To fight for life it's death he must embrace
But just like others come before him
There are others waiting to take his place
And even the great powers can lose interest
In supporting such a vicious status quo
Because you can't break a man who won't be broken
Like in Belfast not many years ago

Oman sends medical aid to Gaza in collaboration with Egyptian Red Crescent


CAIRO — Oman Charitable Organisation (OCO) in co-ordination with the Sultanate’s Embassy in Egypt sent a shipment of medical aid to Gaza Strip within the framework of the Sultanate’s efforts to lessen the blockade on Palestinian brothers in the enclave.

The Egyptian authorities offered all facilities to send the shipment to Gaza Strip through Rafah crossing point in collaboration with Egyptian Red Crescent. The shipment was handed on to the Ministry of Health which will distribute it to different hospitals.

Shaikh Khalifa bin al Harthy, Sultanate’s Ambassador to Egypt and its permanent representative to the Arab League, said in a statement that the medical aid to our brothers in Gaza Strip comes within the framework of the Sultanate’s policy to support Palestinian case and to help the Palestinian brothers who suffer unbearable conditions under the Israeli occupation. more

Power crisis deepens in disagreement over transfering fuel through Israel


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fuel from Egypt has yet to be transferred to Gaza despite assurances it would arrive on Sunday to alleviate an energy crisis, a power authority official said Sunday afternoon.

Gaza's sole power station has stopped functioning since Tuesday, leaving the Gaza Strip with up to 18 hour blackouts each day.

An Egyptian parliamentarian said Saturday said Egypt would pump 500,000 liters of fuel into Gaza per day for the power plant and 100,000 for gas stations.

But the route of the promised fuel into the Gaza Strip appeared to be holding up the delivery.

Egypt wants to stop the passage of fuel through tunnels under the border between the countries, but the official Rafah terminal is not equipped for goods transfers and its development is restricted by an agreement between Egypt, Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.

The only alternative route while this agreement is being renegotiated is for the fuel to cross into Israel, and then back into the Gaza Strip through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom terminal, the sole goods transfer point after Israel closed the fuel crossing Nahal Oz in January 2010.

Energy Authority official Ahmad Abu al-Amreen told Ma'an that while the government does not want to rely on transfers via Israel -- which severely restricts the movement of people and goods from the Gaza Strip since it tightened a blockade on the territory in 2007 -- it will allow shipment via the Israeli crossing temporarily to alleviate the current emergency.

It was not clear whether this solution had been accepted by Egyptian authorities, but Abu al-Amreen said the power authority had not received notification from Egypt about how the fuel would be transferred. more