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Gaza: Hunger before the storm
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 :Israeli politicians, in the run-up to elections, are promising to deal a severe blow to Gaza as this is how Israeli policy is made. However, every household in Gaza is already under siege. In Gaza you can only find pale, angry and frustrated faces. If you visit my house you won't find power, while my neighbor is out of gas.
Another neighbor seeks potable water as power outages have left him without for four days. A third neighbor desparately looks for milk for his child but does so in vain. Another friend who lives on the corner needs medicine that can't currently be found in Gaza.
There is no shortage of such stories in Gaza (though there is a shortage of nearly everything else). Perhaps broadcasting such stories would result in pressure on Israeli leaders to stop the siege. Because what is happening is that the entire Gaza population of 1.5 million -- densely packed into a small area -- is being punished for crude rockets being fired into Israel by a few.
Shaher Mazen, 25, holds a degree in political science but works as a taxi driver to put bread on the table for his family. I spoke to him while I was on my way to some of the Gaza bakeries to cover some news that was happening there. Shaher was frustrated because of siege and furious towards the two rival Palestinian governments, considering them as weak in the face of Israel.
Mazen said, "We are under an organized Israeli media campaign. We are being starved and victimized by Israel. The world think we are besieging Israel, not the other way around. Israel is playing up the issue of rocket fire to besiege us more and more."
Wednesday, December 24, 2008 :The Gaza Strip, home to more than 1.5 million Palestinians, will soon be without its most basic commodity: bread. While families around the world celebrate Christmas, gathering around tables of abundance, Gaza parents like me will not even be able provide bread for their children unless Israel opens the commercial crossings to Gaza from the outside world.
Yesterday, after I finished my lecture at one of Gaza's universities, my wife asked me to bring some bread from Gaza City. All bakeries in our area have stopped operating because of the lack of flour and cooking gas due to Israel's 18-month siege of the territory.