by Stephen Lendman
After Hamas' January 25, 2006 electoral victory, Israel targeted Gaza oppressively. All outside aid was cut off. Sanctions and an economic embargo were imposed, and the democratically elected government was falsely called a terrorist organization and isolated. Stepped up repression followed along with repeated IDF incursions, attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, destruction of property and more in a pattern all too familiar to Palestinians for over six decades. Gazans are imprisoned in their own land and have been traumatized for months. In June 2007, things got worse after Israel placed the Territory under siege - described by some as medieval because of its extreme harshness.
On June 14, 2007, collaboratively with Israel and the US, Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas declared a "state of emergency," illegally dismissed Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh and his national unity government, and appointed his own prime minister and new "emergency" cabinet. Authority is now split. Abbas runs the West Bank. Hamas governs Gaza while Israel controls everything - land, sea, air, movement inside and between the Territories, the population registry, family unification, and all goods and services in and from Occupied Palestine. Especially Gaza under siege for nearly 14 months and solely dependent on Israel for its fuel, electricity and gas. Other essentials as well.
Hamas remains isolated. It's called a "hostile entity," and after last September 19 was squeezed by tightened sanctions. Electricity, fuel and gas were reduced and intermittently cut off. So were supplies of food, medicines, water and other essentials. Its industrial production dropped 95%, and its agricultural output is about half its pre-2007 level. Nearly all construction also stopped, and according to a new UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) report, poverty tops 50% and unemployment is nearly as high. Other unofficial estimates say 80% for both is more accurate. Things are bad and worsening