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Power, water outage signals Gaza 'disaster'

The ongoing outage prompted local and international rights groups to warn of an impending disaster in the Gaza Strip

For the third day in a row, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to suffer from an electricity and water outage caused by Israeli attacks on the blockaded territory.

The ongoing outage prompted local and international rights groups to warn of an impending disaster that would affect all aspects of life in the embattled Gaza Strip, already reeling under an overwhelming Israeli offensive.

"Whole hospital departments might entirely shut down," Youssef Abu al-Rish, a spokesman for the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza, told Anadolu Agency.

Gaza's only power plant was forced to shut down after an Israeli attack targeted the facility's fuel depot earlier this week.

The shutdown has added more difficulties to Gaza's hospitals, which are already bursting at the seams due to the rising casualties from ongoing Israeli attacks, which have killed at least 1458 Palestinians and injured more than 8300 others.

Inside al-Shefaa hospital, the Gaza Strip's largest hospital, Rania Noufal is terrified about losing her own son, who has been put on life support after suffering shrapnel wounds and multiple fractures in an Israeli shelling.

"What would happen to my son if the life support devices was forced to shut down?" Noufal, 45, told Anadolu Agency.

"Why are the Arabs silent? How many more of us who barely survived Israeli missiles will die from the fuel shortage?" she asked.

-Environmental disaster-

The power outage has forced sewage pumps to stop working, sparking deep worries of an environmental disaster in the bombed Gaza Strip.

"Entire neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip are now facing wastewater flooding," said Nezar Hegazi, the head of Gaza's municipal authority, told AA.

"Electric generators need more than 15,000 liters of fuel every day to operate the sewage pumps, which the municipality cannot afford to provide amid the ongoing Israeli war," he said.

Worse still, the continued power outage in most of the Gaza Strip has also halted operations of over 200 wells on which the coastal enclave largely depends for obtaining potable water, Hegazi said.

Saed Abu Ali, a bottled water distributor, said he has been out of work since the shutdown of Gaza's power plant.

"The power outage has prevented water purification companies from operating since the municipality cannot pump out water," Abu Ali said.

-Daily life disrupted-

The power outage has even worsened the already bad life of thousands of Gazans and caused disruption of phone networks and home appliances across the bombed Palestinian territory.

This blackout has left many Gazans unable to check on their family members in other parts of the strip or unable to follow the news through televisions and radios.

"Every day I have to look for enough fuel to operate the electric generator just so I could hear any news through my phone's radio," Reem Hammad, 24 said.

Gaza's power plant requires some 650,000 liters of diesel fuel for its daily operations.

The 65-megawatt power plant only supplies about one third of Gaza's total electricity needs.

Gaza receives 120 megawatts of electricity from Israel each day and buys a further 28 megawatts from Egypt, according to the Gaza Energy Authority.

Report by Nour Abu Eisha, For Anadolu Agency

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