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Oxfam: Electricity crisis in Gaza Strip is an illegal ‘punishment on the entire nation’

Oxfam has described the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip as an illegal punitive measure against an entire nation and stressed the need to end the crisis.

The organisation said in a press release on Sunday: “It has been four months now since the beginning of the electricity, fuel, health care and salaries crisis in Gaza, and the people of the Gaza Strip are sinking into another real disaster”, adding:

the impact of this crisis on people’s access to basic services, such as water and sanitation, is worse than during the 2014 Gaza war.

“The electricity crisis in Gaza is an illegal punitive measure against an entire nation and it must be ended immediately,” said Chris Ejikmanz, director of the organisation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

He added that the Palestinian Authority and Israel have to assume responsibility for the situation of Palestinians in Gaza, calling them not use people as a bargaining tool exploited by various parties.

Ejikmanz stressed that Palestinians in Gaza are currently suffering from numerious violations of their rights as a result of the blockade and demanded the urgently return of fuel and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

He also stressed the need to “end this crisis now and to provide relief to the already trapped people who are now exposed to the risks of disease, especially with the scarcity of health care services in the absence of electricity.”

Ejikmanz explained that all the sewage treatment plants in Gaza no longer work, while 50 per cent of these stations have not been operative since the war on the Gaza Strip in 2014.

He clarified that in August 2014, 900,000 people were not able to access the necessary water and sanitation services, and today the number has increased to two millions.

Ejikmanz insisted that the residents of the Gaza Strip now have only two hours of electricity per day, while after the last war 80 per cent of the population used to have four hours of electricity a day:

Since Israel’s bombing of the only power plant in Gaza in 2006, electricity supply has been very low, with homes and businesses having only eight hours of electricity a day

He pointed out that the land, sea and air blockade, which reached its 11th year today, has exacerbated the problem. He clarified also that Israel’s decision to reduce the electricity supply to Gaza by 40 per cent, at the request of the Palestinian National Authority, resulted in the escalation of this problem and reduced supplies to about two hours of electricity per day.

“Even without rockets and bombs, Palestinians in Gaza already face a humanitarian crisis, but it is shameful to allow this crisis to worsen, and to squeeze two million people who are already suffocated by an illegal blockade,” Oxfam director said.

He explained that all the projects of his organisation in the sector have been affected by the power cuts.

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  • Fasdunkle

    Maybe Hamas should pay the bills – but that wouldn’t be politically advantageous for them – Hamas want people in Gaza to suffer, it plays well with their western enablers

    • abu antar

      One less tunnel will pay for one week worth of diesel for the power plants.

  • peepsqueek

    Gaza voted in 2007 Hamas because they believed Hamas to be less corrupt than Fatah, and now Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has pledged to increase sanctions on the Gaza Strip, drawing a fresh attack from its Hamas rulers.

    International news, -Abbas, the leader of the internationally-recognised Palestinian government based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has been seeking to weaken Islamists Hamas by cutting power supplies to crowded Gaza.

    On Saturday, he said he would continue with sanctions on the coastal strip, despite UN concerns that it amounts to collective punishment of its two million residents.

    “We will continue the gradual stopping of financial allocations to the Gaza Strip until Hamas commits to reconciliation” with the Abbas administration, the president said.

    “Since the coup, we have paid a billion and a half dollars to the Gaza Strip,” Abbas said, referring to the 2007 overthrow of his Fatah movement by Hamas in Gaza.

    “We will not allow this to continue,” the WAFA official Palestinian news agency reported him as saying in Arabic.