25/01/2008

Who’s managing Gaza?

The last few days have been marked by a situation of increasing concern in the Gaza Strip, following the total blockade exercised by Israel on this piece of land. The humanitarian situation there already bad as normal, this sudden disruption of supply has quickly provoked an uprising of the population of Gaza. Hamas did nothing to restore order and let a strangled population move to the Rafah border crossing point with Egypt.

Opposed to such a crowd, the Egyptian forces could hardly do something and therefore passively watched some 350000 people from Gaza come to stock up with staples at the border town of Rafah. President Mubarak justified this attitude retrospectively by the need to help the people of Gaza.

The lax attitude of Egypt gives a pretext for Israel to totally dissociate itself from Gaza. The Hebrew state has indeed said it will sever all its ties with the coastal region controlled byHamas, considering a break in the export of electricity, water and medicine, but also ceasing already emergency delivery of fuel. Egypt strongly opposed the Israeli plan, fearing to have to manage a region governed by an Islamic party.

The strategy adopted by Israel towards Gaza is very unclear. It seems to oscillate between military intervention and severing all links, between a desire to ensure peace with a united « Palestinian state » and willingness to divide the Palestinians and take their territories.

Many people are now against the government of Ehud Olmert whether in the Arab and Muslim worlds, in the international civil community or within the Hebrew state itself. The situation seems unfortunately not to be stabilized, and once again to the detriment of the people of Gaza.

N.J.O.