Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Guardian, Tunnels and Swine Flu

The Guardian today published a full-page report on the tunnels linking Egypt to Gaza. The tunnels are several times referred to as a "lifeline" for the Palestinians, but there are two facts that the article gets wrong.

If you were to guess that the article makes no mention of weapons being smuggled through the tunnels... well, you'd be wrong! Here's what it has to say about that:

Hamas "monitors movements to ensure that drugs, alcohol and weapons are not imported."

In fact, Hamas smuggle weapons through the tunnels themselves.

The article also mentions that one product that is smuggled through, aniseed, is "suddenly hugely in demand as a remedy for swine flu", which is followed by a tunnel owner stating, "We have no alternative".

Really? What about the 10,000 doses of the swine flu vaccine Israel has provided to Gaza? And the 40,000 more on the way. And Israel treating Gaza swine flu suspects to try and prevent it spreading.

So whilst Israel is loosening the blockade to save the Gazans, what is Hamas' role in all this?
"Last week, Hamas police detained a swine flu patient in critical condition on his way to Israel for treatment, and he died shortly thereafter in a local hospital."

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