On Thursday November 14th staff from the BBC Jerusalem Bureau visited the Gaza Strip, where several Hamas-organised military parades marking the anniversary of last November’s fighting against Israel were taking place.
The parades included displays of weaponry and masked gunmen and were attended by Hamas leaders.
Despite the BBC presence on the ground at the time, no report on these parades has appeared on the BBC News website.
On the same day, two mortars were fired into Israel, for which the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (which also held its own parades) claimed responsibility. The IDF targeted rocket launching sites in the Gaza Strip in response. Although its journalists were clearly aware of the incident, no report on the subject was produced by the BBC.
To date, no report on the ongoing fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip has appeared on the BBC News website. Hence, BBC audiences remain unaware of the dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas which, among other things, has resulted in streets being flooded with sewage – although apparently it does not impact Hamas’ ability to hold parades of motor vehicles.
“Though it may be hard to believe, 1.5 million Palestinians have lived without electricity throughout most of the day in 2013. For the past two weeks, residents of the Gaza Strip have endured a cycle of six hours of electricity followed by a 12-hour power outage. Last Wednesday, the power went out at 6:00 am and was finally restored only late that evening.
This current crisis is not the result of a tighter “Israeli siege” or anything of the sort; it is caused by disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority over the price of fuel since the tunnels connecting Gaza and Egypt were shut down or destroyed.
Recent Egyptian military activity rendered out of commission hundreds of tunnels that once connected Sinai and Gaza and were used to import one million liters of fuel into Gaza each day. As a result, Hamas has no choice but to purchase fuel from Israel via the Palestinian Authority at prices similar to those found in the Israeli market, namely over seven shekels ($2) per liter of gasoline. That is a major problem for private car owners.
The more acute problem is that fuel is needed to operate the Gaza power plant that generates the majority of the local electricity. The Palestinian Authority purchases a liter of fuel for the power plant for approximately 4 shekels from Israeli gas companies and has tried to sell it to Hamas for almost double, including excise tax.
Hamas has rejected those prices outright and stopped purchasing fuel for its power plant. The dramatic consequence was that the power plant has shut down and the electricity supply has been completely disrupted. The PA refuses to waive the excise tax, a critical part of its own budget. And the residents of Gaza are the ones who suffer.”