Yes, the night the lights went out in Gaza!
The lights went out in Gaza about an hour ago according to Israel Television's news magazine and (not
coincidentally) only four Kassams hit the Negev today, two of them in Sderot. That's Gaza City in the dark at the top left of this post. Here's an update
Gaza City was plunged into darkness after nightfall Sunday when Hamas officials shut down the territory's only electricity plant, following a cutoff of fuel from Israel.
Israel blockaded Gaza Thursday as a pressure tactic against militants who have been firing rockets at Israel every day. The stricken power plant generates about one third of Gaza's electricity. The rest, which comes from Israel, was not affected by the blockade, Israeli officials said.
But Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel's defense ministry, said Gaza has enough fuel to run the plant, and accused Palestinian officials of trying to create the impression of a crisis that did not exist.
The fuel shortage was a result of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision on Thursday to halt all shipments to the Strip.
Note that - as I pointed out before - there is no electricity in Gaza because Hamas chooses not to provide electricity. All of the whining and seething about all the people who are going to die in the hospitals in Gaza tonight because there is no electricity should be laid at Hamas' door. But of course, it won't be: It will be blamed on Israel.
Hospitals can move to generators when the power goes out, but will have to cut back some activities like laundry, waste incineration and sterilization, hospital officials said. People still had enough fuel to cook Sunday and were able to power their electric heaters, but it was not clear how long that would last.
In addition to the fuel it receives from Israel to power its electrical plant, Gaza gets about two-thirds of its electricity directly from Israel. Israeli officials said that supply would not be affected.
The Nahal Oz fuel terminal in Israel that supplies Gaza remained closed Sunday because of the Palestinian rocket fire, defense ministry spokesman Dror said. But there was still fuel in Gaza, and the closure would not lead to a crisis, he said.
"If they shut it down, it's not because of a fuel shortage, but because they want to create the impression of a crisis," Dror said. The power plant shutdown, he said, would "not be comfortable, but it's not a humanitarian crisis."
The real question is, what is more important to the Hamas 'government': the welfare of their own people or murdering Jews. The answer was not long in coming:
Despite the damage the sanctions were causing Gaza's population, Hamas said its attacks on Israel would not cease. "We will not raise the white flag, and we will not surrender," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Let them wallow in their own excrement. It's time.