The lights are out again in Gaza, and as usual the Palestinian Authority is blaming Israel. But making spurious claims is not stopping families from starting to get the point: it’s time to think about staying alive. And journalists are beginning to document what’s really happening in Gaza.
But because of the fog of battle, it is not yet clear whose missile, mortar, rocket or grenade hit the fuel storage tank that knocked out the lights.
There is no confirmation from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit that Israel is to blame for the incident; a spokesperson is “checking the report.”
According to Gaza power company spokesperson Jamal Dardasawi, one of three fuel storage tanks in the plant compound was hit by the shelling — and of course it must have been a shell from an IDF tank. Two, in fact.
Maybe it was. Right now it’s impossible to know anything.
But Gaza’s power plant has been working at reduced capacity for months due to a vastly inadequate supply of fuel and the fact that the plant was already hit last week. To this point, it has been working at about 20 percent capacity, providing about four hours a day of electricity to the region’s residents.
For years, Hamas refused to pay for the fuel it needs to power the plant. It preferred to insist that it had the right to receive the supply either free, or at nearly free prices. If not from Israel, then from Egypt. If not from Egypt, then from anyone else. Egypt finally closed the spigot.
It’s not a lack of money that is the problem either – Hamas is perfectly willing to invest millions in weaponry, and construction of terrorist tunnels with which to attack Israel. That much has become abundantly clear from the photographs taken by IDF soldiers prior to destruction of the tunnels they have conquered.
The intricate network of bunkers and underground infrastructure that exists in the multi-layered subterranean city the IDF has only now just begun to uncover literally stretches from one end of Gaza to the other – a matter of miles, and billions of dollars of investment.
Meanwhile, Iron Dome anti-missile system operators were kept busy Tuesday morning while IDF warriors battled tunnel terrorists in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sejaiyya.
Telephone operators at IDF headquarters warned Gaza residents in eastern Khan Younis at midday Tuesday to evacuate their homes immediately — for their own safety — and move to the central part of the city in advance of an IDF attack in the area. Flyers were also dropped over the city and SMS text messages were transmitted to cell phones to ensure that residents got the message.
There have been numerous reports of Hamas terrorists trying to prevent those residents who actually want to leave from quitting their homes and the combat zones, in order to keep them as human shields. One journalist who was seen photographing such events was threatened by the terrorists, and his equipment confiscated. All three incidents are outright war crimes, of course.
Gaza terrorists still were somehow managing to fire rocket attacks at Israeli civilians from concealed launchers among their own population in the region. Israelis in the coastal city spent hours in their bomb shelters as repeated missile attacks were sent whizzing towards their homes. At least two of the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Two others exploded in the Ashkelon coastal region, in open areas.
Residents of the dozens of communities along the Gaza border have spent hours and days in their bomb shelters, and Tuesday was no exception. Shelling and Qassam rocket attacks by midday were flying thick and fast, at one point landing every few minutes. Unperturbed, residents discussed the attacks with Israeli radio interviewers, noting they’d been through it all before. They said they were willing to wait it would for as long as it would take, just as long as the IDF would deal with it “once and for all this time.”
Hana Levi Julian