Miracle in Gaza: Power plant the Guardian declared “destroyed” comes back to life

Elder of Ziyon just published a fascinating update on the widely reported story from late July, in which Gaza’s only power plant was allegedly completely “destroyed” by an Israeli missile strike.   

Here’s how the Guardian covered the incident in a July 30th report by Harriet Sherwood.

guardianThe report, quite naturally, didn’t mention that Israel not only denied attacking the power plant, but explained that they didn’t bomb anything in the vicinity of the power plant that day.

Here are the relevant paragraphs from Sherwood’s report:

Flames and clouds of black smoke billowed over Gaza‘s only power plant on after it was destroyed during the most relentless and widespread Israeli bombardment of the current conflict. At least 100 people were killed on Tuesday, according to Gaza health officials.

“The power plant is finished,” said its director, Mohammed al-Sharif, signalling a new crisis for Gaza’s 1.8 million people, who were already enduring power cuts of more than 20 hours a day.

Amnesty International said the crippling of the power station amounted to “collective punishment of Palestinians”. The strike on the plant will worsen already severe problems with Gaza’s water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities.

We need at least one year to repair the power plant, the turbines, the fuel tanks and the control room,” said Fathi Sheik Khalil of the Gaza energy authority. “Everything was burned.” He said crew members who had been trapped by the fire for several hours were evacuated.

Gaza City officials said damage to the power station could paralyse pumps and urged residents to ration water.

The Guardian also published a video report titled ‘Israel targets Hamas leader and power plant‘, which similarly omitted any mention that Israel denied targeting the plant.  And, the Guardian’s Middle East editor, Ian Black, contextualized the story as providing evidence which makes it difficult for Israel to continue to “claim” that it doesn’t “intentionally target civilian infrastructure” in Gaza.

However, as Elder noted in today’s post, the “destroyed” power plant is about to come back online.

According to a report at Ma’an News Agency on September 14th, the plant is ready to begin running again – 46 weeks ahead of schedule!

Gaza’s only power plant is ready to begin running again as soon as a shipment of fuel arrives to the Strip, the plant’s executive manager said Saturday. Walid Saad Sayil said at a news conference that he was waiting on a response from President Mahmoud Abbas’ office on providing fuel to run the plant. Sayil expects to hear back from either Ramallah or Qatar within 48 hours regarding a fuel shipment, he said.

So, in summary, at the end of the day, contrary to Guardian reports on the incident:

  • There appears to be no evidence that Israel targeted the power plant, or even that the plant was struck by an Israeli missile, and (based on the high percentage of errant terrorist rockets which fell inside Gaza) we should consider the possibility that a Hamas rocket may have inadvertently hit the plant.
  • Whatever caused the damage to the power plant, the claim that the plant was completely “destroyed” appears to be a gross exaggeration. 
  • Claims that it would take “at least one year to repair the power plant” were obviously completely untrue.

We can of course expect a follow-up report by Sherwood on her original power plant story…soon eventually never.

28 replies »

  1. The plant was hit by something, and there was some damage. Since it’s a power plant, it takes just one part of it to shut down the whole production. Everything else (“destroyed”, a year to fix it, etc’) was just part of Guardian/Hamas creative freedom.

    Just like the whole water and sewage shortage/catastrophe/holocaust business is create freedom. The Guardian are artists and cannot be curbed by petty things like “facts” or “physical reality”. Just a day after that power plant report there was a truce and there were images of markets and food stores in Gaza working miraculously without water or refrigeration!…

  2. Does anyone know a high ranking executive at Saatchi & Saatchi [or even Charles Saatchi himself] who would be willing to volunteer their services for free to create a fact-based truthful film in favour of Israel / IDF?

    This ‘advert’ should be screened throughout the world. It should also precede any news coverage of Israel so that audiences can be reminded of the context before they receive the misrepresentation of facts by reporters.

    Hamas doesn’t need Saatchi because they are extremely media / PR savvy. Their ready-made promo films literally appear around the world the nano second that a bloodied or dead child has been ‘targeted specifically’ by Israel.

    The coverage this past summer has demonstrated just how much Hamas is able to engage in and enjoy an amazingly warm and fuzzy relationship with all international war reporters.

    Any Mad Men copywriters out there who would be willing to help?

    • I don’t think that would help. It would be denigrated as Zionist propaganda. And how would your force broadcast media to play it before any news piece on I/P conflict? That sounds a highly unrealistic prospect.

        • I´m not being defeatist. I just think there are far better ways to get our point across without opening up accusations of propaganda.

      • I was being slightly ironic…You don’t seriously believe I am that naive. What I am trying to underscore is the horrendous amount of pro-Hamas propaganda British audiences have been receiving from news reports this summer.

        I was being slightly tongue in cheek about Mad Men but surely you get my drift?

  3. People believe what people want to believe. If I were approach each friend who complains on Facebook (about 10 of them) about the 2000 civilians killed by Israel in Gaza with the actual numbers of Hamas’ count (less than 2000), and the numbers killed of men within combatant age, as well as point out how the stories of women and children who were combatants (in addition to accepting the reality of combatant aged men not always being combatants), it simply wouldn’t matter. There wouldn’t be a discussion, because any discussion of Israel becomes a hot button rhetorical debate.

    The good news, as I see it, is that more and more people are studying this situation on their own, and there just is too much historical reality for them to not start accepting the Israeli perspective that the media are a bunch of dipshits and shills.

    • I agree. This flood of information and news cuts both ways. What also helps is the bottom falling out of the Arab world. When many western combined air forces fly Berlin-blockade-style relief missions paradropping water and meals by the ten of thousands onto some mountain in IS held Mad Max territory people look twice if not more Arabs will go over the edge. Over the edge politically and sadly will get murdered.
      The thought that Aza and Egypt is full of Islamofascists is an advantage for Israel in the discourse. People know that Palestinians and Hamas are merely hand puppets of wider Arab interests. Let us be honest, many seasoned Europeans know a fascist when they see one. The verbal mirroring in many EU countries of Islamist behavior within their ghettos and what the middle classes see on TV & Youtube ( heads getting cut off , women getting sold into sexual jihad slavery, Rotherham ) instills a sense of sobriety. People now that Arabs would kill all six million Jew’s in Israel and that goes too far for most.
      What the Left does not realize that the ‘human rights’ narrative only works when you don’t have ninth century genocidal killers cutting off heads in the background as you try and reframe the discussion. This reframing has largely worked up to now.
      I think with Salait’s writings and a refreshingly open Arab barbarity as we write, this thrust by the BDS may come to an end.
      There is a stretching point where you can no longer ignore the human rights cluster fuck in Arabia and still criticize Israel or Western politics in the region in general.
      Also the Islamofascist Syria battle hardened killers will seep back into Europe. The EU will see and uptick of attacks. This will also further alienate the Leftist narrative.
      When commuter trains start to get ripped apart in Frankfurt and Lyon, things will change.

      • Youtube ” Bill Maher Exposes the Differences between Christianity and Islam “,
        someone talking tacheles on mainstream TV about the threat of Islamism. The link will not embed.

      • I’m sorry, but this is not a matter of Left versus Right. When folks can get off that stupid pedestal, then I will be interested in their videos. Yes, human beings are complex creatures, and we all suffer, one way or another, from this human condition. Like humans, politics and discourse and world freaking history isn’t a 2-way street.

        I am Left Wing. I am not a Right Winger because I support Israel. At the end of the day, it is the INDIVIDUAL who makes the difference, not their chosen political mindset.

        • Bigotry and the like are universal human conditions. Thoughtless morons come in all shapes, sizes, colors, hair styles, manicure/pedicures (wink, wink), and political stripes in my experience. No one of us is pure and perfect. Powerful minds have been known to carry around stupid, bigoted and racist ideas dressed up in the finest fashions of the day. I’ve had a lifelong fear and loathing for the herd mentality.

        • If the Bill Maher video is the one from the Charlie Rose show, it’s worth viewing. He makes the connection between Islamists and Islam in that Islam is illiberal: homophobic, women as chattel, etc. Whereas all Charlie Rose could do was sputter about “moderate Muslims.” The main problem with “left” and “right” labels is two-fold: 1) The far left refuses to understand that even if the palestinians are the “underdogs,” their leadership has always done them a great disservice (to put it mildly) and their current leadership in the form of Hamas is plain evil (with the PA right behind). 2) If you are not “left,” then what term remains? “Right”? I’ve come to the conclusion that even though my politics usually fall in the left-wing camp, if a lefty will accuse me of being a right winger, I’ll happily tell them that on the subject of Hamas and the PA, I’m reactionary.