Let’s hear how this is Israel’s fault again
posted at 4:15 pm on April 11, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Israel has cut off fuel supplies to Gaza again after Hamas terrorists attacked and killed two civilians yesterday. The last time Israel cut off energy supplies, they received criticism from around the world for supposed “collective punishment” against the Gazans. However, this time they have an even better reason than before:
Israel said Thursday it had suspended fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip a day after Palestinian gunmen infiltrated Israel and shot dead two civilian workers at a distribution center that supplies all the fuel for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel said that he did not know how long the fuel embargo would last but that officials needed time to investigate how the four attackers managed to slip through the tight security cordon that rings the narrow coastal strip. The attack took place at Nahal Oz, a fuel distribution center about a mile east of Gaza City, the territory’s major population center. ….
Gaza is already suffering from a severe economic blockade that has reduced the flow of goods into the territory to only humanitarian essentials. Human rights advocates said Thursday that even a relatively short stoppage of the fuel shipments could have drastic consequences in a place where reserves are nonexistent and basic supplies of industrial fuel, diesel and gasoline are running low.
“Israel has closed Gaza’s borders and doesn’t allow fuel to enter, except through Nahal Oz,” said Sari Bashi, executive director of the Israel-based human rights group Gisha. “So to close Nahal Oz is to choke the life out of Gaza.”
Maybe a better way of putting it is that Hamas is choking the life out of Gaza. Had Hamas not attacked the fuel distribution center that literally keeps Gazan lights lit, the Israelis would not have had to stop the distribution while it reconsiders security issues. Hamas bit the hand that feeds it, and the closure is the proper response.
Perhaps people don’t understand the commitment the Israelis make in providing energy supplies to Gaza:
Every week, 581,350 gallons of industrial fuel for the power plant, 211,400 gallons of diesel fuel and 20,000 gallons of gasoline pass through Nahal Oz, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Why should Israel continue to provide all of that material to Gaza when it puts their workers at the distribution center at risk? If Gazans want power, then they should see that their terrorists don’t strike Nahal Oz. It’s about time that the risk-reward decisions got borne by the Gazans rather than the Israelis, who deliver food and energy while Gazans deliver Qassams to Sderot and Ashkelon.
The Israelis should cease all exports to Gaza until the Palestinians guarantee security, all across the board. If they want to continue conducting rocket attacks on civilian centers and terrorist strikes on distribution workers, let them suffer the consequences of those decisions. If ordinary Gazans don’t like the consequences of Hamas’ actions, then Gazans need to eliminate Hamas themselves.