Sunday, February 01, 2009

A Palestinian man walks past a chicken farm destroyed during Israeli strikes in Gaza City on January 18, 2009.

Gaza desperately short of food after Israel destroys farms

Gaza's 1.5 million people are facing a food crisis as a result of the destruction of great areas of farmland during the Israeli invasion.

According to the World Food Programme, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and Palestinian officials, between 35% and 60% of the agriculture industry has been wrecked by the three-week Israeli attack, which followed two years of economic siege.

Christine van Nieuwenhuyse, the World Food Programme's country director, said: "We are hearing that 60% of the land in the north - where the farming was most intensive - may not be exploitable again. It looks to me like a disaster. It is not just farmland, but poultry as well. (...)


Posted with bated breath:

Report: Hamas agrees to year-long Gaza truce from Thursday

Hamas has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a year-long truce with Israel in Gaza starting on Thursday, Al-Arabiya TV Sunday quoted sources in the Islamist militant group as saying.(...)

According to the report, Hamas has agreed to the deployment along Gaza's border crossings of forces under the control of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah movement.

The deal stipulates that the PA forces will coordinate their activities with Hamas.(...)

Israel, according to the report, has agreed not to interfere in the running of the Egypt-Gaza border crossing.

'Cause as US military intel expert Pat Lang says:
Having failed in this latest attempt to intimidate the Palestinians, what is left for the Israelis to try? More firepower? More dead kids for the world to contemplate? Maybe napalm this time? How about mass expulsions? Creating new "facts on the ground?" ...

A truce? Did I see that magic word in the article? Could it be? ...

What'll it be, mass expulsions, extermination, or a truce?

Meanwhile, occasional Gazan rockets still continue to spatter Israel and occasional Israeli bombs continue to destroy properties in Gaza in retaliation and both sides continue to take occasional close-range potshots at each other across the border, but thankfully no serious casualties reported on either side in the last few days - and despite Olmert's threats of "disproportionate retaliation" against Gaza i.e. more-warcrimes-by-definition if the Gazan rocket-firing continues, there's an official Israeli statement in Haaretz saying Hamas itself isn't considered responsible for the latest spate of qassams:

Israeli MI Chief: Hamas upholding cease-fire, but smaller Gaza groups undeterred

Here's hoping, here's praying: after so many horrors, so many betrayals, so many disappointments, so many atrocities - may Gaza's terrible ordeal soon be ended!