In a 600 word article on poverty in Gaza, Guardian journalist Jennifer Rankin somehow failed to use the word “Hamas” even once. The May 15th piece, “One million face hunger after US cut to Palestine aid”, focuses on claims by UNRWA that cuts to the UN agency by the Trump administration could put a million Gazans a risk of hunger unless international donors fill the $60m (£46m) gap.
The omission – which we pointed out in a tweet to the journalist – is especially glaring in this sentence from the article, which ostensibly attempts to explain the broader cause of Gaza’s economic woes.
[UNRWA] is largely propping up Gaza, subject to a total blockade by air, land and sea since 2007. Political stalemate, conflict with Israel and divisions among Palestinian factions have left the territory an economic ruin, without health and social services and with almost no access to clean water and only four or five hours of electricity a day.
Of course, something of relative importance occurred in 2007 which necessitated the blockade prohibiting weapons and dual use items from entering the strip: Hamas, an internationally proscribed terror group ideologically dedicated to the murder of Jews and the annihilation of Israel, came to power in a bloody coup.
The lifting of the sanctions against Hamas – by Israel and the international community – has always been dependent on three conditions: the renunciation of violence, the recognition of Israel, and a commitment to honour all previous agreements between Israel and the PA. The fact that there’s still a blockade (by both Israel and Egypt) after 12 years is not the result of Israeli malevolence, but the consequence of Hamas’s extremist ideology and refusal to meet these reasonable conditions – an intuitive cause and effect that somehow manages to elude putatively intelligent and well-informed journalists.