Trucks with supplies for Gaza.
Trucks with supplies for Gaza.(file)

The news coming out of Gaza depicts the Arab populace living in darkness and cold and blaming Israel for closing down major crossings through which fuel arrives to Gaza's power plants. Reporters even claim that the dead can no longer be buried properly because there are no shrouds, and that bodies are being wrapped in flags instead.

The IDF says, however, that this is media spin; a deliberate manipulation by the Hamas government to make Israel look as bad as possible.

"Gaza City was plunged into darkness after the plant's turbines stopped," the BBC reported. "Israel's closure of border crossings amid continued rocket fire from Gaza has brought the delivery of almost all supplies, including fuel, to a halt… The UN says Gaza's 1.5m inhabitants face serious hardship… Reports from Gaza say people are trying to stock up on candles and batteries, as well as basic foodstuffs… A number of residents began a candle-lit march through Gaza City after the blackout."

Self-created crisis

Israeli sources say this kind of coverage is exactly what the Gaza leadership wants. "There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," a security source told the Israeli Ynet site Sunday evening. "In the past, there have already been situations in which the [electricity] transformers did not work. As for food and other supplies, the Palestinians have a stock that will last them for the next few days and beyond. This is an image of a crisis created by Hamas."

The source noted that the electricity transformers in Gaza were bombed after the abduction of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, too, yet life went on as usual there because Israel continued supplying Gaza with electricity. Israel continues to supply Gaza with 70% of its power, the source said, adding: "We have not cut electricity and do not intend to at this moment. The Palestinians are the ones cutting off electricity for a few hours and trying to create a crisis."

What burial shrouds?

The source also noted that the announcement of a crisis in Gaza came a bare 24 hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced he was sealing off the crossings into Gaza. "There are hardly any trucks

The Palestinians are the ones cutting off electricity for a few hours and trying to create a crisis.

allowed into Gaza on Fridays and Saturdays anyhow," the source explained. As for burial shrouds – these were never on the list of supplies Israel transferred into Gaza anyways.

Other reports in the press said that all of the operations scheduled to take place in Gaza's hospitals in the next few days have been postponed. The health system in Gaza claimed the dialysis systems and medical equipment taking care of heart patients may cease functioning, and warned that ten minutes without electricity in the hospitals could kill dozens of patients. The Gazan spokesmen also said that if sewage pumping ceases, "an unprecedented humanitarian disaster" could result.

Thousands of Gazans held a candlelight vigil Sunday evening to protest what they called Israel's "siege" of Gaza.

Gadid's synagogue in its days of glory.

Gadid's synagogue now a mosque

A Haaretz weekend report contained the following description of a conversation

Gadid's synagogue has turned into a mosque and its walls are decorated with verses from the Quran.

between the newspaper's reporter and a Gazan cab driver named Munir Dweik: "He reports to us 'live' that at this moment he is standing in the ruins of the settlement of Gadid, which is currently being renovated with the aid of money from Italy. Gadid's synagogue has turned into a mosque and its walls are decorated with verses from the Quran. Dweik woke up tonight because of the freezing cold, he says on the phone, because there is no electrical supply to his home in Beit Lahiya. In the past few weeks he has wandered between gas stations, trying to find fuel for his cab in the besieged city."