NPR: Israel Starving Gaza of Its ResourcesMarch 5, 2013 10:07 by Pesach Benson
The power struggle threatened to unravel recent Israeli concessions. Among them listed by COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories):
• Entry of 100 aggregates trucks per week was approved for the private sector.
• Expanded capabilities in “Kerem Shalom” border crossing.
• Expanding the number of new vehicles approved for export to the Gaza Strip (from 100 to 125 vehicles per week).
Moreover, COGAT’s weekly report (pdf) on Gaza aid provides more hard numbers on what’s at stake if Hamas continues its power play. Between Feb. 24 and March 2, Israel sent 500 trucks carrying a total weight of 15,244 tons of goods. This includes, food, construction and electrical equipment, medical supplies, clothing, hygiene products, and more.
For the year, 9,553 trucks have passed through Kerem Shalom carrying 293,741 tons of goods.
But the dirty little secret Abramson won’t acknowledge is that the blockade is a bigger necessity for Hamas. And it’s not just because its taxes and protection racket with the smuggling industry rake in a cool $1 million a day.
No matter how many goods pass through tunnels or international crossings, the presence of a “blockade” gives Hamas an opening to play the victim.
Egyptian moves against the tunnels indicate that even the Muslim Brotherhood isn’t buying Palestinian victimization, which is Gaza’s biggest export of all.