Monday, June 24FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA, PALESTINE WILL BE FREE

BLACKOUTS? YUP

NOVANEWS
I’m still settling into Gaza, setting up Arabic lessons, making contacts with farmer’s groups. Some scatter-shot observations. Within Gaza City, the siege is obviously not invisible. But the stores are full of goods from the tunnels. The stores are full but the overwhelming majority of the population, perhaps 80 or 90 percent, can’t possibly afford to buy the stuff in the stores. What the stores stock is mediated by the siege, too.
Yesterday, I bought yogurt. I grabbed the Israeli yogurt because it was conveniently large. A friend suggested I not buy the Israeli yogurt. I looked around for another option, but all of the yogurt is Israeli. “No satisfactory substitute,” said the store-owner, in response to a query as to why they stocked the occupier’s goods. Israeli yogurt producers do well off the siege.
This was predicted, and is a a long-standing trend vis-a-vis the Israeli relationship to the economy of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is also subject to rolling blackouts. Most sectors are without electricity for at least 8 hours a day. People plan their lives syncopated by when they’ll have electricity with which to work. Walking home last night at mid-night, it was pitch-black.
Back-up generators don’t supply energy to the street-lamps. The petrol supply is particularly low right now because it’s Purim, and Israeli soldiers are apparently not available to bring the weekly ration of fuel to the Gazans. Everyone knows that if a farmer were to wander into a buffer zone, the occupation forces wouldn’t have much trouble finding a sniper to shoot dead a farmer attempting to tend his field.

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