Counterpunch, January 21, 2008
By Omar Barghouti
The European Union, Israel’s largest trade partner in the world, is watching by as Israel tightens its barbaric siege around Gaza, collectively punishing 1.5 million Palestinian civilians, condemning them to devastation, and visiting imminent death upon hundreds of kidney dialysis and heart patients, prematurely born babies, and all others dependent on electric power for their very survival.
By freezing fuel and electric power supplies to Gaza, Israel, the occupying power, is essentially guaranteeing that “clean” water — only by name, as Gaza’s water is perhaps the most polluted in the whole region, after decades of Israeli theft and abuse — will not be pumped out and properly distributed to homes and institutions; hospitals will not be able to function adequately, leading to the eventual death of many, particularly the most vulnerable; whatever factories that are still working despite the siege will now be forced to close, pushing the already extremely high unemployment rate even higher; sewage treatment will come to a halt, further polluting Gaza’s precious little water supply; academic institutions and schools will not be able to provide their usual services; and lives of all civilians will be severely disrupted, if not irreversibly damaged. And Europe is apathetically watching.