Congratulations, Israel, on granting Hosni Mubarak a stage on which to present himself as a humanitarian and supporter of peace: Palestinians in the Gaza Strip demolished part of the “security” fence on the Egyptian border, and flooded in to buy necessaries that the Israeli government are denying them – by denying electricity and trade – as a sanction measure.

“The bakeries are not working and there are difficulties in getting the things we need,” said a 42-year-old Gazan housewife who gave her name as Umm Raid and crossed the border with two of her children.

“I came to buy milk for my children and to get medicine for diabetes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel has no intention of causing a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, but it would deny Palestinians in the territory “luxuries” as long as rocket attacks continued.

Yes, “luxuries” like milk and insulin. The eye-for-eye politics in the Middle East have left Israel blind.

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