“Using the moral yardstick mentioned by [Moshe Sharett], I must ask: Are [we justified] in opening fire on the [Palestinian] Arabs who cross [the border] to reap the crops they planted in our territory; they, their women, and their children? Will this stand up to moral scrutiny . . .? We shoot at those hungry [Palestinian] Arabs who cross the line [to graze their flocks]—- will this stand up to moral review? Arabs cross to collect the grain that they left in the abandoned [term often used by Israelis to describe the ethnically cleansed] villages and we set mines for them and they go back without an arm or a leg. . . . [It may be that this] cannot pass review, but I know no other method of guarding the borders. then tomorrow the State of Israel will have no borders.” (Righteous Victims, p. 275)
* “When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.
Because of its use during the assault on Gaza, G-NIUS was able to present its product as “combat-proven.” The unmanned Armored Personnel Carrier that was deployed in Gaza in the summer of 2014 marked the first time a remote-controlled, unmanned armored personnel carrier participated in combat.
Gaza: Israel’s experiment on humans in a situation of extreme stress and deprivation by Gideon Levy
It’s hard to imagine the day-to-day routine in this sweltering heat with only two-and-a-half hours of electricity a day.
One of the biggest experiments involving human subjects ever conducted anywhere is taking place right before our eyes, and the world is silent.
The project is at its peak and the world shows no interest. This experiment on human beings, unsanctioned by any of the international scientific institutions whose oversight is required by the Helsinki Declaration, seeks to examine human behaviour in situations of extreme stress and deprivation.
The experimental group does not comprise just a few, nor dozens or hundreds, nor thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. The experimental population includes no fewer than two million human beings.
- The Ringworm Scandal: When Israeli Doctors Killed Tens of Thousands of Arab Children
- Israel: Thousands of mostly Yemeni children abducted in the 1950s.
Thus far they have stood the test amazingly well. While some turbulence is evident inside the pressure cooker within which they are confined, it has not yet exploded. The Gaza Strip is being watched to see when and in what form it will ultimately explode. This is apparently only a matter of time.
As presented by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt: What happens to two million human beings when they are deprived of electricity nearly all the time, day and night? What happens to them in winter, and in spring, and especially now, in the terrible heat of a Middle Eastern summer?
This experiment, like all such experiments, is being conducted in a phased manner. The frog is to be cooked in water that will gradually be heated until it boils.
At first Gaza was deprived of electricity for about a third of each 24 hours, then for about half, and now the level has been ratcheted up such that the two million residents of Gaza have electricity for only about 2.5 hours in each 24. Let’s see what that does to them. Let’s watch how they respond. And how about when they are supplied with electricity for only a single hour per day? Or for one hour per week? This experiment is still in its early stages, and no one can foresee its end.
In the last decade, this battered strip of land has also turned into a cage, the largest cage on earth.
The location of this experiment is among the most cursed parcels of land on earth. Forty kilometres long, its width varying between 5.7km and 12.5km, with a total area of 365 square kilometres – the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places in the world. According to the CIA, in July 2016 there were some 1.7 million people there; the Palestinian Authority cites two million residents as of October 2016.
In any case, a million of them are considered refugees or the children or grandchildren of refugees, about half of whom are still living in refugee camps. Compared with other refugee camps elsewhere in the Arab world, the camps in Gaza are considered especially wretched, except perhaps for the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. The refugees in Gaza were expelled or fled from Israel in 1948 and comprise about a fifth of all Palestinian refugees in the world.
This population has rarely known any meaningful period of quiet, security or minimal economic welfare. Their situation today may be at its worst and most despairing, and a UN report has already concluded that in another two-and-a-half years or so, by 2020, the Gaza Strip will no longer be habitable, largely due to the escalating water problem. The new cuts in electricity are exacerbating the plight of these human beings as the experiment continues.
Gaza is surrounded: by Israel to the north and east and by Egypt to the south, and on its western boundary by the sea, where the Israeli military has absolute control. Since the advent of Hamas rule in Gaza, Israel in cooperation with Egypt has imposed a siege. The siege has been eased somewhat over the years, but remains a siege, especially with respect to the movement of people into and out of Gaza and the almost total prohibition on the export of goods.
But even that isn’t sufficient. Gaza’s torments are far from over. Now comes the reduced supply of electricity.
Palestinians walk on a street at the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City during a power outage on 11 June (AFP)
Gaza has a single electric power plant, which cannot produce as much electricity as is consumed. Launched in 2002 with a production capacity of about 140 megawatts, the plant is limited by the carrying capacity of its grid and in 2006 was producing only 90 megawatts, with 120 additional megawatts supplied by Israel, paid for in full, of course.
The plant was blown up by Israel after the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the summer of 2006, when it was producing 43 percent of Gaza’s electricity consumption. After reconstruction, the plant reached a production capacity of about 80 megawatts. But even this is entirely dependent on Israel, which is the plant’s only supplier of diesel fuel and spare parts.
When the siege was first imposed, Israel began restricting the quantity of diesel fuel it supplied. Gaza needs between 280 and 400 megawatts of electricity, depending on the season. About a third of the total required, some 120 megawatts, was coming from Israel, and 60-70 megawatts was coming from the power plant. There was a chronic shortage of electricity in Gaza even before the most recent decrease. Gazans have been without electricity for some hours every day for years now.
The power struggle between Abbas and Hamas, which rules in Gaza, a struggle in which Israel cooperates in a contemptible manner with the PA, has created the present situation.