On the ground

The latest poll figures suggest Palestinians are increasing their support for Hamas since the late January election. US and Israeli attempts to sabotage the result are, unsurprisingly, bound to fail. Other released poll results prove that a majority of Palestinians are in favour of negotiations with Israel and maintaining the Hamas ceasefire.

Israel’s response since the Palestinian elections has been typically arrogant and counterproductive. A new UN report outlines the situation:

Israel’s tightening of security procedures has exacted a heavy humanitarian toll in the territories since the Palestinian parliamentary elections last month, according to a United Nations report obtained by Haaretz on Monday.

The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also warns that Jerusalem’s withholding of VAT and customs funds intended for the Palestinian Authority would place the PA in danger of collapse, limiting its ability to provide basic services such as health, education, water and electricity, sewage and garbage collection, and policing to the population in the West Bank and Gaza.

“The non-payment of salaries to [the PA’s] 73,000 security staff could risk a rise in criminality, kidnapping and protection racket,” the report said. “Dependence on PA salaries is greatest in some of the poorest governorates, including Jenin, Tul Karm, Qalqilya, Tubas, Salfit, and the Gaza Strip.”

Are leading Zionist groups likely to condemn Israeli measures of collective punishment? Of course not. It’s only Palestinians being oppressed.