So far, some 37 Palestinians have been killed in four days (i.e. since Bush’s visit to Israel), in an Israeli attempt to end the launching of rockets into its territory. Over 200 rockets have been launched since the seige began. Two Israeli injuries were reported. These homemade rockets have in fact killed 12 Israelis, in the past 6 years. Conversely, almost 700 Palestinians, including 224 civilians (78 of them children) have been killed by Israeli extra-judicial executions during the same period.
Meanwhile, it’s January, so it’s very cold. Nothing is allowed to go in or out of Gaza including food, fuel, medicine or aid. The power plant was forced to shut down. A stubborn Israel squares off with a stubborn Hamas. Sigh. Finding the right word or words to describe the situation in Gaza is too difficult. So I’ll let these people do it:
“At least 800,000 people are now in darkness.” – Derar Abu Sissi, general director of the Gaza power plant.
“Not comfortable but not a humanitarian crisis” – Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel’s defence ministry, describing the power station.
“The ball is in their court…If they stop the rockets today, everything would go back to normal.” – Arye Mekel, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman.
”We have the choice to either cut electricity on babies in the maternity ward or heart surgery patients or stop operating rooms,” – Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain warning that the fuel cutoff would cause a health catastrophe.
“We will not raise the white flag and we will not surrender.” – Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri insisting that Hamas’ attacks on Israel would not cease because of the sanctions.
“In exercising their right to self-defence, we encourage Israel, as we do with our own armed forces — to make every effort to avoid any harm to civilians,” – US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
“You must be on the ground for days and weeks to begin to appreciate the full horror of the situation,” – John Ging, the Gaza director of the UNRWA.
“We want peace. We have nothing to do with this. Israel has the technology to separate those who are firing the rockets and those who are not.” – Gaza resident, Amar Rahal, who lost his mother and brother to an Israeli missile targeting the car of a rocket-launching crew.
“It’s unacceptable that people in [the southern Israeli town of] Sderot should live in fear every day while people in the Gaza Strip are living life as usual,” – Shlomo Dror, spokesman for the Israel’s defense ministry.
“We can’t guarantee the quality of work,” – Gravedigger, Anwar Dramleh, commenting on how cement that they once used to build graves has run out, with gravediggers now resorting to bathroom tile grout.
“The suicide bomber has been arrested by internal security.” – Former interior minister Said Siam on Hamas foiling a Fatah assassination attempt on prime minister Ismail Haniya.
“Fatah has not and will not use weapons for killings and assassinations in the context of the internal situation. This culture of blood was not in the Palestinian political system before the arrival of Hamas.” – Fatah spokesman Fahmi Zaarir rejecting the allegations.