Who Failed Gaza?

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Khaled Abu Toameh argues that the putative allies of Gaza's Palestinians are failing them, once again:

Israel alone , they say, is to blame for everything that goes wrong in the Gaza Strip. If there is a problem of drugs in the Gaza Strip, it must be the Israelis who are behind it.

And when there is no electricity in the Gaza Strip, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority often rush to blame Israel for the crisis.

But the Palestinian Center for Human Rights announced this week that Palestinians -- not Israel -- were to blame for the electricity crisis.

The human rights group pointed out that Hamas announced that the operation of the Gaza Energy Plant was stopped because it ran out of fuel.

Until recently, the fuel used to be smuggled from Egypt through underground tunnels. Before that, the fuel was bought from Israel, and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank used to cover the costs. But because of the dispute between Hamas and Fatah, the Palestinian Authority stopped its contribution.

Palestinian Authority officials have accused Hamas of stealing the fuel for its own institutions and vehicles.

So if anyone is to blame for the fact that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been left without electricity it's both Hamas and Fatah.

Also, when there's a shortage of medicine in the Gaza Strip, Hamas usually hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for failing to deliver them to the Gaza Strip.

When Israel left the Gaza Strip back in 2005, the Palestinians had the opportunity to turn the coastal area into the Arab world's Singapore.

Everyone, including Israel and Jews living in the US and Canada, was prepared to help the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. But the Palestinians chose instead to turn the Gaza Strip into a center for Islamist groups.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/02/who-failed-gaza/253472/