Lighting up the Holiday

Rafiq Maliha, Project Manager at the Gaza Power Generation Company (GPGC) heaves a heavy sigh before beginning his description of the current situation at the Gaza Power Plant. Apparently he’s been over this quite a few times already. “Originally, the Gaza Power Plant was designed with an output capacity of 140 megawatts of electricity,” he explains. “Throughout its years of operation, the plant’s maximum output level was 118 megawatts. That was in 2006, just before Israel bombed the power plant and destroyed all six transformers”. Continue reading

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Declaring War on Chocolate

Residents of Gaza this week are celebrating Eid el-Fitr, the holiday marking the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. During this festival, it is customary to eat lots of sweets. However, this year, once again, the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel for the past 27 months, includes a prohibition on importing chocolate and other sweets. Why ban chocolate? Because Israel considers chocolate, along with the majority of the other consumer goods that were once sold in Gaza, as “beyond what is essential for the basic existence of the population.” Israel has a point. It is possible to exist without chocolate. But isn’t it a shame? Continue reading

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No Development, No Prosperity, No Humanitarian Crisis

When senior foreign delegates visited Israeli President Shimon Peres recently, they were surprised when he informed that there are no humanitarian problems in the Gaza Strip. He maintained, in fact, that there is plenty of food, medicines and other products, although there is a slight shortage of cement. But you know – Hamas wants cement. Continue reading

Posted in economic development, Movement of goods into Gaza | 2 Comments

Teaching Gaza a Lesson

Picture this: its 7:15am, 40-60 children are crammed into a single classroom ready for a new day of learning. Many of them have no exercise books, textbooks or even pencils. This scene repeats itself at 12:15pm, when the “second shift” starts in the same classroom, at the same school, with the same overcrowding and the same shortages (no, this is not Israel in the 1950’s; this is the Gaza Strip in 2009). Continue reading

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Perhaps They Should Try Above-ground?

Yesterday’s Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF is sending a representative, Capt. Asher, to the US to learn from the US military about their methods battling tunnels on the US-Mexico border. Regarding Capt. Asher’s mission, an IDF officer offers this quote: “We have yet to find the perfect system, even though we have been searching for one for years.” Continue reading

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Historian Says Economic Embargo is the Wrong Strategy

In the JPost today Yagil Henkin – a military historian from the Shalem Center – argues that “it is very unlikely that sanctions will cause the Hamas government to fall,” as “comprehensive economic sanctions can backfire; they tend to consolidate … Continue reading

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