Since the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup in July, the army has increased the destruction of the tunnels on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza on the pretext of “fighting against terrorism”. The tunnels have served as a lifeline to the besieged people of Gaza and their destruction has caused shortages of fuel and other essential goods. Gaza is now completely dependent on the limited amount of fuel allowed to enter by Israel.
Palestinian officials have warned that petrol stations will reduce their opening hours due to the shortage. The electricity supply schedule has also been amended so that most people will only get electricity for about 8 hours in every 24. Generators have been used to overcome the electricity problem but the fuel crisis means that that option will no longer be available.
Palestinians even shop by candlelight and face a further reduction in the number of hours when electricity will be supplied. The generating authority plans to cut distribution to 6 hours in order to make limited stocks of fuel go further.
The residents of the Gaza Strip are resigned to their fate. Most have given up on the international community which, they complain, ignores their appeals for help.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad