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March 26, 2012

UPI Captions Fueling the Conflict

A series of United Press International (UPI) photos yesterday of a Gaza bakery are accompanied by captions which falsely place the blame on Israel for the Gaza Strip's current fuel crisis. For instance,

upi fuel crisis.jpg
A Palestinian baker prepares bread in a wood burning stove at a traditional bakery in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on March 25, 2012. Gaza is experiencing a major electricity crisis because of a shortage of fuel for the power plant. Israel blockaded fuel to Gaza after Hamas seized control of Gaza by force in 2007. UPI/Ismael Mohamad
upi fuel crisis 2.jpg
A Palestinian baker prepares pita bread in a wood burning stove at a traditional bakery in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on March 25, 2012. Gaza is experiencing a major electricity crisis because of a shortage of fuel for the power plant. Israel blockaded fuel to Gaza after Hamas seized control of Gaza by force in 2007. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

But the current fuel crisis is caused by a dispute between Hamas and Egypt, and is not related to Israeli policy. As reported in the New York Times:

Also on Friday, Israel facilitated a delivery of fuel to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip to provide temporary relief for a fuel crisis stemming from a dispute between Hamas and Egypt. Shortages have caused power cuts of up to 18 hours a day in recent weeks.

With the situation in Gaza becoming more urgent, and the supply to hospitals threatened, Hamas agreed to the assistance from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and Israel as a temporary measure.

“This is no solution,” Adham Abu Salmia, a Gaza health official, told The Associated Press.

At the request of the Palestinian Authority, which has no access to Gaza, Israel allowed some 450,000 liters of fuel to be trucked through its Kerem Shalom border crossing on Friday, when it is usually closed. Maj. Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the Israeli authority responsible for the crossings, said that amount would be enough for no more than two days.

Over the last year, Hamas stopped paying the Palestinian Authority for Israeli-supplied fuel and relied on cheaper fuel smuggled through tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border. In recent months Egypt has tried to end the practice and to have Gaza import fuel from Egypt legally, also via the Israeli border crossing, a request that Hamas refused. Hamas wants the fuel to arrive directly from Egypt to Gaza.

This is hardly the first instance of false charges regarding Israeli delivery of fuel to the Gaza Strip.

Posted by TS at March 26, 2012 06:38 AM

Comments

It's downright silly to expect international news organizations to have direct access to up-to-date and verifiable data and information. It is so much easier to simply blame the Joos.

Posted by: Asher Garber at March 26, 2012 11:11 AM

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