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October 23, 2007

Gaza Coordinator: Hamas Manufactures Shortages

Hamas manufactures crises.jpe
Israel transferred 151 nitrous oxide balloons to the Gaza Strip less than 24 hours after Palestinian officials requested them/IDF photo

As if journalists need yet another reason to be skeptical about Palestinian claims of Israeli-inflicted humanitarian crises, the Jerusalem Post reports today:

Hamas is unnecessarily endangering Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by generating phony humanitarian crises, head of the Gaza Coordination Liaison Administration (CLA) Col. Nir Press said Monday.

On Sunday night, Gaza's Shifa Hospital claimed that due to tight Israeli restrictions on imports into Gaza, it had run out of anesthetic for surgeries, and as a result had canceled all but the most critical procedures.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Press dismissed the claims and said that in a meeting he held Sunday afternoon with Palestinian Health Ministry officials he was informed that the hospitals were running "low" on the anesthetic. On Monday morning, less than 24 hours after making the request, Israel transferred 151 nitrous oxide gas balloons to Shifa Hospital.

"It is the Palestinians' responsibility to order the supplies," Press said, noting that despite the daily rocket attacks on Israeli towns - on Monday 10 rockets and shells pounded the western Negev - Israel continued to transfer medical goods and supplies into Gaza whenever they were ordered.

Press said that orders were usually placed by the Palestinians days in advance and that Sunday's sudden announcement "was a spin by Hamas and an attempt to put pressure on Israel by creating a humanitarian crisis."

He said that the incident resembled Palestinian claims a few months ago that due to Israeli restrictions on the crossings they ran out of gas needed to operate the Gaza power plant and as a result large parts of the Strip were left without electricity for several days. Also then, Press said, Hamas unnecessarily disrupted Palestinian civilians' lives to try to create an image that a humanitarian crisis was developing in Gaza.

"These are examples of how Hamas wants to create humanitarian crisis," he explained. "They wait until the last moment and then tell us they are running out of supplies so they can create this image of a crisis."


Posted by TS at October 23, 2007 04:33 AM

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