Gaza Expecting The Worst

By Hiyam Noir – Gaza

Last Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Israeli government to keep in mind its legal responsibility to deliver urgent and steady supply of sufficient fuel and humanitarian aid to Gaza Strip. The Israelis have blocked fuel delivery and turned away trucks with food distributed by UNRWA. Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the risk of a possible humanitarian disaster.

The Israelis have blocked the shipment of fuel to Gaza for over 10 days; as a result of the fuel embargo, a large part of the coastal Palestinian territories has plunged into darkness. Laud speakers from police cars and from Mosques across the Gaza Strip warned the residents on Friday that electric generators from the only local power plant would soon cease. In the northern and central parts of Gaza Strip, including Gaza City, the residents have spent the night in total darkness. The electric power in Gaza Strip will remain turned off until the Israel military allows fuel to pass into the area.

On Friday, all the border crossings into Gaza were closed, including the crossings for fuel and food deliveries. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon said that he is concerned that life-saving assistance is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people, he said that the Israelis blockade is unacceptable and that its measures will increase the hardship and suffering for the residents on the Gaza Strip. He also urged both parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians to respect the truce agreement that has been in affect since June 19.

Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to allow for a regular and sufficient shipment of fuel and humanitarian assistance including aid provided by UNWRA, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UN officials and humanitarian workers. On Thursday UNRWA was forced to suspend food distributions to 750,000 residents, because the Israelis continued its blockade of the crossings.

Although Ehud Olmert the Israeli Prime Minister have told media in an official statement that the Israelis will respect and support the truce agreement with Hamas, the Israeli army continues its lethal incursions into Gaza. During a recent Israeli army incursion into the Khan Younis, November 4, Israeli warplanes and tanks killed six people, and injured at least seven including two Palestinian farmers. On Saturday morning, a bombardment nearby the farm of Abu Safiya in the northeastern parts of Jabalya, killed two and injured four Gaza residents.

The Israel media, however claimed the latest killings was a result of an accidental internal explosion, and that there were no Israeli air force flying over Gaza Strip on Saturday. However the residents in the area, and Gaza security forces, claim they witnessed a Drone in sky, and this aircraft launched a large missile that caused the deaths. The young man Abduallah Hassan El-Manayia 20, a junior member of Nasser Saladin Brigades (PRC), was pronounced dead on the arrival at Kamal Edwan hospital, and Fawzy Ahmad 21 years of age, died of his injuries inside the hospital.

Palestinian media analysts argue that following the corruption scandals surrounding Ehud Olmert, the Israeli military is calling the shots regarding Gaza. The Palestinians fear the worst, including a new large-scale military invasion into the impoverished Strip.

The spokesperson, of the Ramalla caretaker government, Nabil Abu Rdina, senior member of Fatah, called on Israel, Friday, to abide by the truce and halt its military activities in Gaza Strip. His statement was published by Wafa, a Fatah affiliated news agency. Regarding the West Bank, Abu Rdina denounced Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Baracks’ approval of hundreds of new settlement units. He said that the "approval of building such illegal settlements is the killing of the peace process." He called on the international community to urgently intervene, halt settlement operations and force the Israelis to leave Palestinian lands.

Alaa Al-Bata, the spokesperson of Hamas media office, said Friday, that Hamas government in Gaza has called to Egyptian mediators to immediately intervene in the “deterioration of the human, health and living situation” in the Gaza Strip. He demanded other Arab and Islamic countries, and the international community, to ‘support the Palestinian steadfastness’ in the face of Israel’s illegal practices.

Fawzi Barhoum, also a spokesman for Hamas, warned, “the Israelis will not enjoy tranquillity as long as Palestinian blood is being shed and their bodies are torn to pieces. The Palestinian resistance bombardment of Israeli settlement, near the Gaza border came in response to frequent Israeli activities of aggression against our people in Gaza Strip."

"Whenever negotiations and security liaison between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Israeli occupation accelerate, the enemy becomes certain that he will not come under scrutiny or pressure by other Arab or Western countries.” Barhoum added.

– Hiyam Noir contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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