[News] Israel prevents gas from entering Gaza and begins selling it to Egypt

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 24 15:24:23 EST 2020


https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/23/616893/Israel-gas-Gaza-Egypt


  Israel prevents gas from entering Gaza and begins selling it to Egypt

January 23, 2020
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*By Robert Inlakesh*

(Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has 
lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has 
written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and 
various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in 
particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European 
correspondent.)

*The severity of Gaza’s humanitarian crisis is currently growing in 
magnitude, as a result of Israel tightening its 15-year long, 
illegal siege of the poverty-stricken Palestinian territory. Due to 
Israel’s restriction of gas, prevented from entering the besieged 
coastal enclave, the people of Gaza are facing a lack of sufficient 
heating, lighting, and the ability to properly deal with sewage, all 
this and more whilst their Arab neighbor, Egypt, is purchasing stolen 
Israeli gas.*

Last February, Egypt signed a 19-billion-dollar gas deal with Israel. A 
few days ago, Israel officially began pumping that gas into Egypt via an 
‘Eastern Mediterranean Gas’ pipeline formerly used to supply Israel with 
Egyptian gas (during the rule of ex-president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak).

Israel restricts the gas it is allowing into Gaza, collectively 
punishing the Palestinian people — which constitutes a crime against 
humanity — for what Israel decides is the illegitimate actions of Gaza’s 
democratically-elected government.

Egypt’s coup leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has not only sold the soul of 
Egypt by purchasing the Israeli occupying entity, but has also 
participated in enforcing Egypt’s side of the illegal blockade of Gaza. 
Sisi has continuously watched on as the two-million-strong population of 
the besieged Gaza Strip suffers untold misery.

Besides Egypt’s collaboration with Israel’s racist persecution of the 
Palestinian people in Gaza’s death camp is also the most shameful of 
deliberate targeting of Gaza’s food and resources by Israel itself.

The Palestinian Agricultural Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that 
Israel had purposely flooded and destroyed roughly 920 acres of 
farmlands in Eastern Jabalia and Beit Hanoun, Northern Gaza, causing 
500,000 dollars worth of damage. On top of this, Israel has also begun 
spraying dangerous chemicals over farmland to the East of Khan Yunis and 
Rafah, located in the South of Gaza. The Gaza Strip has very scarce 
amounts of agricultural land and is already operating in a declared 
state of emergency, as of February 2018.

Adding to the list of Israeli crimes in Gaza is the fact that the Gaza 
gas fields, which were discovered in 1999 and belong to the Palestinian 
people under international law, still have not been excavated. The only 
reason for the Palestinians not being able to take advantage of their 
own oil is that Israel’s illegal blockade prohibits them from doing so, 
meaning that the people of Gaza are living in an area which has been 
deemed ‘unlivable’ by experts at the United Nations, suffering 
unimaginable pain, whilst literally sitting right next to a treasure 
trove of natural gas.

Approximately two weeks ago, Israel decided to cut off the main supply 
of gas from entering the Gaza Strip. Since then, Egypt has let in 10 
trucks, which have entered the besieged territory, but according to 
Gaza’s residents, this simply has not been enough to supply the people 
with a sufficient source of gas. Khaled Tabasha, a Palestinian activist 
living in Gaza’s al-Bureij refugee camp, spoke to me, informing me that 
his family and many others living in his camp have not been able to cook 
properly. Khaled even said that things have gotten so bad that he and 
others have begun looking for wood, in order to start fires from which 
they can cook their food.

The term “sending Gaza back to the stone age” has been often used by 
Israeli politicians, referring to the military bombardments of the 
territory by Israel, but it seems by the blockade alone, Israel is 
achieving this aim.

In the Gaza Strip, a lack of gas not only means that Palestinians are 
having to resort to using wood fires to cook, it also affects motor 
vehicles, hospitals, and of course the heating inside houses. In 
addition to this, Gaza is again having an electricity crisis, which 
means that right now the people only have access to roughly four and a 
half hours of electricity per day. This is during a time where the 
climate is very cold in Gaza. To give an example of how cold Palestine 
has been lately, just yesterday, it snowed in al-Khalil (Hebron), 
located to the North of Gaza, in the West Bank.

Toxic Pesticides have also recently been sprayed along the separation 
fence, illegally built between Gaza and Israel. The spraying of these 
potentially lethal substances along the separation fence — a violation 
of international law — is justified by the Israelis as being a 
“security” precaution.

The question now remaining is: how long can Gaza continue to suffer as 
the conditions get more and more severe?

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