The blockade has put Gaza’s fragile economy in danger and the window of opportunity for addressing the crisis "is small and fast closing", said Filippo Grandi, the deputy head of UN Relief and Works Agency, the international body responsible for Palestinian refugees . . .It now seems that Grandi's statements were positively prophetic. From Ynetnews.com:
Grandi appealed to "the Palestinian Authority, Israel and all other parties" to open the crossings, saying failure to do so would lead to "disastrous consequences . . . "
Shortages in fertilizers used by Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip to produce makeshift rockets have led to a decrease in the number of rockets fired towards Israel.Strictly meant for agricultural research, of course.
Ynet found that Palestinian terror groups prefer to save their rockets for rainy days.
But rockets continued to be fired towards Israel on Sunday, with three rockets landing in the western Negev.
The shortages have been blamed on Egypt's clampdown on smugglers operating along the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel's closure of border crossings used to transfer goods into the coastal territory.
The price of a kilo of fertilizer rose from $20 to $50.
Palestinian operatives confirmed the shortages to Ynet but said they still had large quantities of rockets stored in secret caches.
"In addition to the smugglings, our people are producing a similar substitute. But the shortages also apply to materials we use to produce fertilizers and substitutes to it and therefore there is a crisis and the situation is difficult," one operative said.
The shortage led Hamas gunmen to storm the Fatah-affiliated al-Azhar University where they confiscated dozens of kilos of fertilizers.
Terror groups also face shortages in steel used to build the rockets. The price of a steel rod rose from NIS 120 to NIS 800.So what's the price of a fully assembled, ready-to-fire Qassam? Wouldn't that be their leading economic indicator?
"God willing, our men will find other alternatives. The most important thing is that the resistance remains unharmed. Thank God we have brilliant brains in the Strip," another operative said.So the next time you read a UN official's pronouncements about a "looming humanitarian crisis" in Gaza--and there will probably be many next-times--just remember that the Gazans themselves don't seem to give a lot of priority to their own civilian well-being.
Crossposted on Soccer Dad