The chronic shortage of electricity in the Gaza Strip is – as frequently documented on these pages – a story that is consistently badly reported by the BBC. Rather than informing its audiences of the real reasons behind that permanent crisis, the corporation’s journalists regularly promote the entirely inaccurate notion that it is connected to the restrictions on entry of certain dual-use goods to the Gaza Strip that are part of Israel’s counter-terrorism measures.
In recent days the crisis was further exacerbated.
“The Gaza Strip’s only functioning power plant was not functioning Sunday after running out of fuel, the head of the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave’s electricity provider told AFP.
Samir Metir said that all the plant’s fuel, purchased with funding from Qatar and Turkey, had been used up.
He said it was not clear when the Palestinian territory would receive more, owing to a “dispute” between the electricity authority in Gaza and Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.
The Gaza Health Ministry warned of a humanitarian crisis as a result.”
As the Jerusalem Post notes, this is yet another chapter in a long-running dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
“Hamas appealed to Ramallah on Monday to lift an onerous fuel tax which it said would force the Gaza power plant to shut down on Tuesday for the third day in a row.[…]
“We were surprised by the decision of the government [in Ramallah] to fully reimpose the taxes on the price of fuel used for operating the power plant,” the Gaza Energy Authority said on its web page.
The authority added that it “appealed” to Ramallah to waive the taxes. It further charged that Ramallah had delayed projects that would help resolve the electricity problem in Gaza.
A similar electricity crisis in December was resolved by tax-free donations from Qatar and Turkey that ran out last week. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is no longer willing to allow the plant to operate on tax-free fuel.”
On April 18th the BBC News website posted a filmed report – apparently also shown on BBC television news programmes – titled “Gaza power cuts: Man shares his tricks“. The report profiles an engineer from Gaza who has developed alternatives to mains electricity and the background to that story is described as follows:
“Power cuts in Gaza typically last 8 to 12 hours a day – sometimes longer. […]
There are strict controls on the movement of goods and people going in and out of Gaza.
Israel and Egypt tightened their blockade after Hamas, a militant group, took control in 2007.
Electricity is imported from both countries and there’s only one power plant.
Demand far outstrips supply.”
Leaving aside the predictable whitewashing of Hamas’ terrorism, obviously BBC audiences would understand – wrongly – that the electricity crisis in Gaza has something to do with the “strict controls” imposed by Israel and Egypt.
Not only is that not the case but the BBC has once again erased the real reason for the crisis from audience view.