Israel plans to allow building materials meant for private projects into the Gaza Strip for the first time in six years, an Israeli defense official said Tuesday. Gaza has been struggling with a shortage of building materials that has worsened since July, when the Egyptian military shut down many of the tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons from Egypt into the Palestinian enclave.
“The Egyptian army has destroyed 95 percent of the tunnels with the aim of setting up a security buffer zone,” Sobhi Ridwan, head of the Palestinian municipality in the border town of Rafah, told AFP. […]The tunnels’ destruction, which began after Egypt’s army in July ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas ally, has already affected residents of Rafah. […]“I don’t have even one shekel (25 cents, 20 eurocents) to spend on my children’s schooling. I think night and day trying to find a solution but I can’t. Death is better than this,” he told AFP.
We’re not holding our breath for the BBC and others to roll out the maps and discover that in fact Egypt also shares a border with Gaza that it likes to abuse and refuses to open. Nor are we calling for any “Israel Saves Palestinians from Arabs” headlines; Israel does not and should not get a free pass in reporting about Gaza. But the lack of MSM enthusiasm for stories about the role neighboring Arab states play in Palestinian suffering is hard to understand given stories like these. It almost makes one suspect that something more than concern for the Palestinians’ suffering is at work.[Map of Gaza Strip courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]