Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gaza residents worth $54 each to Mahmoud Abbas

This is the most shocking news I have read in some time. The Palestinian Authority has actually campaigned against a UN resolution expressing concern about the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip. It was an extremely modest - actually, pathetic - appeal from some of the Arab states to consider the residents of Gaza as in some respects human. After all, the UN itself states that a humanitarian crisis is emerging in Gaza, esspecially as Israel imposes a blockade:

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release in July 2007 that humanitarian imports allowed into Gaza in a week early in the month met some of the minimum food needs in the territory, where 80 per cent of the population already receive food assistance. It also stated that three quarters of Gaza's factories were either closed or operating at 20 per cent capacity, placing the direct livelihoods of about 30,000 people in jeopardy and causing at least US$ 500,000 of business losses daily. UN officials reported later during the same month that OCHA noted the layoff of 65,000 workers by companies in Gaza, following the lack of supplies there, to be capable of affecting as many as 450,000 dependents. Patients in the region had been unable to enter Egypt for medical treatment and another 400 to 700 patients were stranded in the open near the Rafah border. At the same time, border closures and restrictions had been stopping agricultural products from being exported, depriving farmers of income and leading to an overabundance within Gaza of items such as tomatoes, melons and apples, and therefore a drop in prices.


As Ali Abuminah points out, the blockade is driven and enforced to a large extent by Abbas. Soon, as a result, Gaza will be 100% dependent on aid, and they're getting precious little of it. Meanwhile, Israel continues to conduct regular raids into Gaza. And Abbas continues to bluster about how he will have no truck with Hamas. He would rather cozy up to the colonial masters than deal with Palestinians. He got $80m out of the Framework Agreement with Bush on 'reforming' the Palestinian security apparatus (to fully convert it into an American auxiliary). That's all he got. For 1.48m Gazans, that's about $54 a head: and that's what Abbas has sold out his fellow Palestinians for.