Since Gaza’s only power plant shut down in April of this year, electricity has become a luxury item to the nearly two million people living there. Available for only about 4 hours a day, a recent agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel just reduced Gaza's electricity by another 40 percent. Since the plant shut down in April when fuel ran out, Gaza has relied on feeder strips from Egypt and Israel. The ICRC has been present in Israel and the Occupied Territories (OT) since 1967. Our work there is focused on the protection of civilians and visits to detainees held in Israeli and Palestinian places of detention. In addition, we also have programs supporting the health and water sector in the OT. Watch When the Lights Go Out in Gaza.
In this week’s roundup, we take a look at the power outage in Gaza, as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**
Gaza on the Brink (Foreign Affairs)
Benedetta Berti reports that the ongoing electricity crisis is placing an inordinate amount of pressure on Gaza. If not addressed, it could end with a political implosion, a full-blown humanitarian disaster, and yet another round of violence between Hamas and Israel.
Ezz Zanoun reports that international rights groups are warning of a "total collapse" of basic services amid a steadily worsening electricity crisis. The Gaza Strip is in the middle of an electricity shortage that has left its two million residents with just a few hours of power a day, turning many aspects of everyday life in the Hamas-governed territory upside down and raising concerns about of a looming humanitarian crisis.
UN: Increasing Shortage of Medicines, Fuel for Essential Services in Gaza (Middle East Monitor)
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned of the increasing shortage of essential medicine in Gaza, adding that it also expects a depletion of the reserves of emergency fuel needed to support health, water and sanitation services in the Strip.
The Times of Israel reported that the Palestinian Authority will reportedly once again allow patients from the Gaza Strip to be treated in Israel after three babies died on Tuesday in the enclave controlled by the Hamas terror group. Following an international outcry over the deaths, the Palestinian Health Ministry will on Sunday increase the number of permits it issues for Gaza residents to receive medical care in Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.
Gaza’s Power Crisis Cripples Farmers (Al Monitor)
Entsar Abu Jahal writes that the power crisis has taken its toll on all aspects of economic life in the Gaza Strip, including the agricultural sector, as farmers rely on electricity-powered wells for the irrigation of their crops. Extended power outages are now threatening plant life and food security in the Gaza Strip, and some farmers are buying generators to keep their crops alive. They bear the high cost of fuel and are forced to increase the price of their products.
Blackout in Gaza (Deutsche Welle)
Tania Krämer reports that after several days of extreme power shortages in the Gaza Strip, Gaza’s power plant reportedly restarted on Thursday. But people fear this is only a temporary solution to the ongoing power problems. Power supply has been extremely scarce since Gaza's only power plant was shut down after running out of fuel two months ago. The tiny enclave has been left solely dependent on a few hours of electricity supplied by Israel and Egypt.
Why Gaza is Experiencing a New Power Crisis (Stars and Stripes)
Josef Federman of the AP writes that the Gaza Strip is in the midst of an electricity shortage that has left residents with just a few hours of power a day, turning many aspects of everyday life in the Hamas-ruled territory upside down and raising concerns about a humanitarian crisis. For several years, Gaza has scraped by with roughly eight hours of electricity a day. But in recent months, the situation has worsened due to a combination of factors.
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