When the Gaza Strip's main power station shut down for lack of fuel last week, Hamas predictably blamed Israel, and found willing collaborators in the mainstream international media.
But over the weekend, evidence surfaced that Hamas may be purposely keeping the people of Gaza living in literal darkness as a means of demonizing Israel.
Bloomberg reported on Saturday that Egypt had offered to deliver a hefty supply of fuel to Gaza to get the power plant running again, but that Hamas had refused because the fuel would be delivered via official pumping stations at an Israeli border crossing.
Up until the end of 2010, Israel provided nearly all of the industrial-grade diesel fuel needed by Gaza's lone power station. Over 900,000 liters (nearly a quarter of a million gallons) was delivered on a weekly basis.
In January 2010, Israel closed one pipeline into Gaza after repeated terrorist attacks on the border crossing where it was situated, but built a new pipeline elsewhere that effectively doubled the amount of fuel Israel could provide.
But Hamas and the media smelled an anti-Israel story, and weren't about to let the facts get in the way.
Israel was harshly criticized for closing the Nahal Oz pipeline, and at that point Hamas gradually began halting the purchase of fuel from Israel to make it appear as though Gaza was being purposely choked by the "Zionists."
Over the past year, Gaza has become entirely reliant on fuel smuggled in from neighboring Egypt, a practice that Egypt itself has been trying to stop due to its own fuel shortages. It has also resulted in a huge increase in fuel rates in Gaza.
In a response to Israeli blogger Elder of Ziyon the Israeli army stressed:
"There is no Israeli decision to purposefully stop selling diesel to Gaza; the decision came from the Hamas... If and when the demand returns, Israel is fully willing to supply, as it did in the past."
Palestinian leaders have a history of exploiting their people as pawns in the long-term quest of first delegitimizing, and then eliminating Israel. Unfortunately, the mainstream media and Western power brokers have been all too willing to buy into the propaganda, regardless of how thinly veiled it may be. And while this does indeed harm Israel, average Palestinians bear the brunt of this deceit.