While much has been made of the Hamas-PA agreements in Cairo, on the ground things are getting worse for Gazans.
On November 1, the PA formally took over responsibility for the Gaza crossings into Egypt. Days later, nothing has changed. Egypt has not yet opened its border and no one is talking about any practical moves the PA has made to help out. The PA is insisting on a full return to the 2005 crossings agreement, and apparently the de facto Gaza leaders of Hamas have not yet agreed to some of the provisions.
The EUBAM monitors of the Rafah crossing, who have been paid to do nothing for the past ten years, have not yet been asked to resume their mission by any of the parties.
Naturally, the Gisha NGO blames Israel above all:
Two million people in Gaza have been held hostage to political power struggles for far too long, while their most basic needs and rights have been trampled or overlooked. The parties responsible for this ongoing reality include the feuding Palestinian authorities in Gaza and Ramallah, as well as the Egyptian government, but first and foremost Israel, the only party that has maintained extensive control over the Strip for the past 50 years.
(Gisha never said a word against Hamas’ role in restricting people’s movement until this blog shamed them a few years ago.)
Meanwhile, the severe medicine shortage in Gaza – entirely the fault of the Palestinian Authority who has refused to ship medicines there since spring – keeps getting worse, despite the Cairo agreement.
The Gaza Ministry of Health announced that the southern governorates have completely depleted their stocks of 130 pharmaceutical products, 45% of the list of essential medicines, including 50 types of surgical drugs like anesthetics.
Yet the only party that gets blamed remains Israel,which imposes no restrictions on medicines into Gaza.
“Human rights” NGOs are notably silent, because for them to mention these problems after the supposed agreement between Hamas and the PA would show yet again that their singleminded focus on Israel and willingness to give the Palestinian leaderships a pass has in fact been part of the reason why Gazans suffer. Today.
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