Gaza Near Collapse
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
A decade of Israeli blockade, compounded by PA complicity with its harshness, deteriorated conditions to the breaking point – the suffering of two million Gazans largely ignored by the world community.
Israel’s blockade was and continues to be for political, not security, reasons, encouraged and supported by Washington.
A report titled “Three Three Years After the 2014 Gaza Hostilities – Beyond Survival: Challenges to Economic Recovery and Long-Term Development” explains nightmarish conditions amounting to slow-motion genocide.
Gaza’s economy is in shambles. One-third of its arable land and over half of Oslo-agreed on fishing waters are off-limits. Palestinians venturing into them risk being shot and killed.
Electricity in Gaza is at an all-time low, at most one-fifth of demand. Power cuts last as long as 20 hours daily, sometimes longer. Lack of it endangers lives, damages the Strip’s fragile infrastructure, and prevents normal activities.
Three years after Operation Protective Edge, rebuilding is woefully slow. Most aid pledged wasn’t supplied. Most getting in hasn’t gone for reconstruction.
Blockade and Israeli aggression at its discretion makes economic recovery unattainable. Deep poverty, unemployment, underemployment, food insecurity, fractured infrastructure, limited public services (including healthcare and education), along with environmental degradation make daily life a struggle to survive.
Unemployment for youths and new labor force entrants is around 60%, overall unemployment over 40%, conditions worsening, not improving.
Gaza’s private sector is incapacitated by blockade, restricted movements, along with limited access to natural resources and markets.
Economic activity is little more than half its pre-2014 war level, while Gaza’s population steadily grows. Most households need humanitarian aid to survive.
The UN’s prediction about Gaza being unlivable by 2020 should have said it’s been this way for years, especially post-Operation Protective Edge.
On July 8, the Strip’s power crisis deepened. Two generators shut down. Production dropped to 20 megawatts daily because entry of Egyptian fuel stopped.
The PA is responsible for non-payment to Cairo. Israel cut its supply delivered to minimal amounts. Lack of power forced sharp cutbacks in all vital aspects of life – commercial, industrial, medical and residential.
Gaza’s health ministry instituted major cuts in vital services. Fuel used to run generators in hospitals is close to running out.
If things don’t improve quickly, most operating rooms, laboratories and blood banks will close.
The lives of patients needing vital surgery, in intensive care, and on dialysis will be endangered. Safe water and sanitation are gravely affected.
Gaza is occupied territory. Israel fails to fulfill even minimal obligations as an occupying power, international humanitarian law ignored.
The lives, health, safety and welfare of two million Gazans are endangered by its ruthlessness.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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