Crisis Conditions in Gaza
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Israel’s suffocating blockade is for political, not security, reasons – supported and encouraged by the US.
Regimes running both countries are responsible for humanitarian crisis conditions in Gaza – greatly exacerbated by lack of enough fuel for electricity.
Gazans receive only a few hours of power daily. Businesses can’t operate properly. Nor can hospitals. The current situation is dire, worsened because of the Abbas-led PA’s complicity with Israeli harshness.
A previous article explained the following. In 2014, Qatar pledged $1 billion in aid to help rebuild what Israeli aggression destroyed.
Last fall, it announced $150 million in humanitarian aid to Gaza, including $60 million for desperately needed fuel, the UN Development Program to oversee distribution of the aid.
At the time, longtime Israeli collaborator/illegitimate Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas opposed the aid. He countered by cutting PA aid to the Strip, punishing Gazans, serving Israeli and US interests at their expense.
Israel blocked the third installment of Qatari aid, $15 million dollars for fuel to supply electricity and for other purposes. According to Israeli academic Reuven Hazan, the aid may be resumed, saying:
“The last thing (Netanyahu) needs right now is in the middle of an election campaign to be focused again on Gaza…at least until (the) April” election. Whatever he does or doesn’t do can change abruptly.
The lives and well-being of ill and injured Gazans are threatened by the serious fuel shortage. Hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities have nearly exhausted their supplies.
Unless emergency aid is resumed, their operations will be greatly limited. Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra explained that when fuel runs out, Gazan hospitals will face “a real, probably deadly, catastrophe.”
Hundreds of patients needing dialysis for kidney failure may die for lack of electricity. The lives and welfare of intensive care patients will be threatened.
Surgeries, lab tests, and other operations will be gravely affected. Pleas by Gaza’s health ministry for vitally needed help have been unanswered so far – by Israel and the PA.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) urged the PA, world community, and international organizations to provide aid for fuel to keep the generators of hospitals and other medical facilities operating.
Last Sunday, the Crescent Hospital in southern Gaza said lack of fuel will force closure of many of its services unless the situation is remedied quickly – not so far.
Hospital director Dr. Waleed Madi said lack of fuel for electricity forced suspension of surgeries, including for its obstetrics and gynecological patients, the only facility for these services in southern Gaza.
Other medical facilities face the same dilemma, unable to provide vital services without electricity. Gaza needs about 600 megawatts of power for 24-hour-a-day electricity for all its people and operations.
Around a fourth of this amount is available because of damaged power plants – and only when enough fuel is supplied for electricity generation.
With PA financial aid cut off, Gazan authorities can’t import fuel – let alone keep up with the needs of a growing population.
Humanitarian organizations blame Israel entirely for humanitarian crisis conditions, devastating the Strip and its two million people. The Netanyahu regime can ease conditions for Gazans or continue its ruthless policies – sentencing its residents to inhuman conditions.
Gaza is virtually unlivable. Israeli apartheid ruthlessness lets things fester and deteriorate, why weekly Great March of Return demonstrations continue, ongoing for over nine months.
Israel maintains control over what goes on in the Strip, including its land and sea borders, along with its airspace, looting its offshore oil and gas resources.
Working in cahoots with the Netanyahu regime, Egypt controls the southern Rafah crossing, most often closed, open only a few days annually. Individuals meeting strict criteria alone are permitted to pass through it, the vast majority of Gazans excluded.
The Strip and its people are isolated from the outside world, including the West Bank, Israel, and Egypt. Permit permission to leave for any reason is increasingly hard to get, granted only to a select few after interminable delays.
Two million Gazans are virtual Israeli prisoners, attacked by the IDF often, including three wars of aggression in the last decade, another surely ahead at Israel’s discretion.
The economy collapsed, the vast majority of Gazans enduring nightmarish conditions, the world community doing nothing to intervene responsibly. UN secretary general Guterres one-sidedly supports Israel and Washington’s imperial agenda.
The Trump regime froze all aid to Palestinians, including for millions of refugees. Limited funding supplied to the PA goes for serving as Israel’s enforcer.
Israel gets billions of dollars in largely military aid annually, used for occupation harshness, undeclared war on Syria, and overall state terror.
Israel prohibits everything entering Gaza it calls “duel-use” items, mostly what’s needed to provide vital services to long-suffering people.
Around 80% of Gazans require humanitarian aid to survive, including food and other essentials to life and well-being.
Lack of fuel for electricity affects virtually everything and everyone in the Strip, including for pumping water and sewage operations, woefully under-supplied.
Over 95% of Gazan water is contaminated, unfit to drink, the Strip unfit and unsafe to live in – its people terrorized by a ruthless occupier, the world community doing nothing to end their suffering.
A Final Comment
On Thursday, Haaretz said the Netanyahu regime will decide whether to unblock Qatari humanitarian aid to Gaza, depending on what happens during Friday protests.
Hamas rejected linking the funds to less Great March of Return resistance, saying failure to release the badly needed aid will cause things to escalate.
“At the same time, Israel has recently signaled that…Netanyahu seeks (relative) calm…ahead of the April 9 election,” Haaretz reported.
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