World Bank blames Israel for Gaza situation

Friday, July 13, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Ignoring Hamas' open refusal to allow Jewish-grown food into the Gaza Strip, the World Bank on Thursday blamed Israel for the looming humanitarian crisis and economic collapse in the terrorist-ruled territory.

“The pillars of Gaza’s economy have weakened over the years. Now, with a sustained closure [of the Gaza-Israel border crossings] they would be at risk of virtually irreversible collapse,” Faris Hadad-Zervos, acting director of World Bank activities in the Palestinian Authority territories, was quoted by Reuters as telling a gathering of humanitarian agency heads on Thursday.

Hadad-Zervos reportedly made no mention of the six-month-long armed struggle between Hamas and Fatah that left hundreds dead in Gaza and brought economic activity to a standstill for long periods of time. Nor did he touch on Hamas' brutal military conquest of Gaza just last month, which forced Israel for security reasons to prolong the closure of the area's border crossings.

However, most glaring was Hadad-Zervos' failure to point out that Israel has for weeks been trying to get food and other humanitarian supplies into Gaza, but has more often than not been prevented from doing so by Hamas threats to shell any border crossing that is opened for the purpose of importing Israeli produce and supplies.

Just last week, some 60 Israeli trucks carrying a huge supply of fresh produce were forced to turn back after Hamas threatened to attack southern Gaza's Kerem Shalom Crossing while the vehicles were in transit.

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