We're about to enter an interesting period for students of Middle East media coverage:Guardian
: "Gaza plunged into darkness as Israeli fuel blockade takes effect":
Parts of Gaza were pitched into darkness last night after its only power plant was shut down following a move by Israel to halt fuel shipments under its new closure of the small, overcrowded strip of land.
As fuel supplies ran out, the plant was shut down. Earlier, queues formed on the streets and at petrol stations and warehouses selling cooking gas as the shortages began to take effect. Blackouts have stretched to 12 hours a day in recent weeks.
The closure came after a week of the most intense conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza for more than a year. Nearly 40 Palestinians have been killed in the past week, at least 10 of them civilians.[...]
According to the blurb accompanying the link on the main page: "Gaza City in darkness after Israel blocked fuel shipments to electricity plant."Ynet
: "IDF official rejects claims of humanitarian crisis in Gaza":
"There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza," a military official told Ynet Sunday, claiming that the Palestinians had enough food supply to last them for the next weeks, and that any reports of such a crisis were created and promoted by Hamas.BBC
While admitting that the situation in the Gaza Strip was far from good, the official rejected claims that Gazans were suffering from a power shortage due to the shutting down of turbines at the local power plant.
"Even today, Israel is behind 70% of the power supply to Gaza, and therefore any claim to the effect that there are electricity problems in Gaza is unfounded," he stated. "These are media spins by interested parties. We did not cut back on electricity and don't intend to do so at this point.
"The Palestinians are in fact the ones who shut down power for several hours a day in a bid to create a crisis. At the moment, their fuel supply has not run out yet. If there is shortage of fuel oil at the power plants, they should ask themselves what happened to the supply they received." [...]
: "Gaza City plunged into darkness":
The only power plant in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has shut down because of a lack of fuel, Palestinian officials say, blaming Israeli restrictions.
Gaza City was plunged into darkness after the plant's turbines stopped.
Israel's closure of border crossings amid continued rocket fire from Gaza has brought the delivery of almost all supplies, including fuel, to a halt.
But Israel, which provides 60% of Gaza's power, says the territory still has sufficient fuel stocks.
The UN believes Gaza's 1.5m inhabitants face serious hardship and one of its officials said unheated hospitals were having to rely on generators for operations. [...]
Israeli skepticism is reported following the heading "'No shortage.'" That's after 15 one-sentence paragraphs. Al Jazeera
: "Israel keeps up raids amid blackout":
Gaza City has been plunged into darkness after its only power plant was shut down on the third day of a crippling Israeli fuel blockade of the Palestinian territory.
But the blackout did not stop Israel from continuing its military offensive, launching air raids in northern Gaza that killed at least two Palestinians late on Sunday.
Sunday's power plant shutdown has prompted fears of a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians said the worst affected could be the health sector, with hospitals failing to provide services in the absence of electricity.
"At least 800,000 people are now in darkness," Derar Abu Sissi, general director of the plant, said.
"The catastrophe will affect hospitals, medical clinics, water wells, houses, factories - all aspects of life." [...]
There is whole section called "Patients at risk." Here is an excerpt:
[...] Dr Medhat Abbas, head of the crisis management unit at the health ministry in Gaza, said that electricity from generators would only be available for a few more hours at the Al-Nasser children's hospital.
"These patients and these children are facing their destiny and they will die soon," he told Al Jazeera.
"They escaped from their poor houses were they have very cold weather ... The families brought them here to be saved in the incubator. Now the incubator and the nursery will be out of electricity.
"What sort of humanitarian law is this?" [...]
There is a great deal more to the article, including four of those BBC-style paragraph/sentences devoted to the "Israeli response." MPAC-UK reaches a pinnacle of hysteria
, of course. EOZ is disgusted
at the Mainstream Media. I am struck, as I often am, by the way in which a restrained but ambiguous approach on Israel's part is inevitably a public relations disaster.Update
: It seems to be the season for blackouts