Thursday, January 8, 2009

Humanitarian Aid For Three Hours

On Wednesday, Israel halted hostilities for three hours, from 1:00PM to 4:00PM, to allow trucks to deliver supplies to the residents of Gaza. An hour ago, the second such pause ended and fighting has started anew. How much good these gestures will mean to the residents of Gaza remains to be seen. From reports, they will have been more beneficial to Hamas.

According to YNETNEWS Hamas has been stealing supplies meant for the Palestinian people in Gaza for their own consumption. Oh, the residents have been getting some of the supplies, but they have to pay Hamas for them. From the YNET site:

A number of reports from the Strip paint a picture of very difficult humanitarian conditions, not least because of Hamas itself. The suspicion is that the group's operatives have seized control of any supplies passing through the crossings – including those sent by Israel and international organizations.

Reports say Hamas takes a cut out of all aid that arrives, including flour and medicine. Supplies intended to be distributed without gain among the population is seized by the group and sold to the residents, at a profit to the Hamas government.

Even as Israel attempts to smash Hamas and put a stop to the rocket and mortar attacks, and as they do everything they can to avoid civilian casualties, they are thwarted by the enemy they pursue in their efforts to provide humanitarian relief in the midst of battle. As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished, proven by the reactions of many muslims around the globe.

In Britain, muslim leaders are warning Brown that anger could spill into the streets. How much do the muslims in Britain know about Israel's efforts? It depends on where they get their information. If the source of that information is anything like in France, the chances are that the muslims are being misled, whether intentionally or otherwise.

On Sunday, I wrote about a video in Let The Propaganda Begin, a video that was being circulated on the internet and which was also completely false in its portrayal of the current conflict in Gaza. As it turns out, that video was also being broadcast on television, most notably in France.


French TV apologises over footage mix-up
PARIS: France’s public broadcaster was forced to apologise to viewers yesterday after it mistakenly used amateur footage shot in 2005 to illustrate a report on the current Gaza conflict.
France 2 television on Monday broadcast part of an amateur video presented in a voiceover commentary as showing the fallout from an Israeli air strike on a civilian area in Gaza on January 1.
Dating from September 2005, the video, which has been widely circulated on the Internet, actually shows civilians wounded in the accidental explosion of a pick-up truck loaded with Hamas rockets at a rally in Jabaliya refugee camp.

Even though France TV apologized for the faux pas, the damage was already done. One way to atone for part of the mistake would be for France TV to report on the actions of Hamas in the conflict as regards the people they are allegedly protecting. Also from YNET:

No one to turn to
These reports lead to the assumption that Hamas is attempting to exacerbate the atmosphere of a humanitarian crisis in the Strip, as this may promote an international ceasefire initiative. In any case the reports clearly show that the residents of Gaza have fallen prey to Hamas as well as the IDF.

Three hours per day of intermission by the IDF may mean little to people who have no one to turn to, but perhaps if the world media would report more accurately on the situation, Hamas will feel pressure from their current supporters.

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