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Archive for November 25th, 2013

Locked in, Lights out!!!

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5p.m. Gaza and the days heat will set with the sun. From now on, light and heat will be provided from a candle as Gaza was “switched off” weeks ago, there is no electricity for lights or heaters, no gas for the stove , no fuel for the generators. The only fires lit are outdoor campfires where people gather for heat, light or just company in the dark nights.

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The situation here has reached a critical stage.  Gaza now survives on approx 5 hours of electricity a day.  Most homes in Gaza use gas bottles for cooking, but even this is a challenge these days. Our last bottle ran out a week ago, and we finally found a replacement bottle in Deir al Balah, ( 12 kilometres away) .

 Consequently, Gaza is now in the midst of a humanitarian disaster as the world watches silently. The lack of fuel and electricity to adequately run the water and sewage stations means that the limited amount of already contaminated water in Gaza is now extremely dangerous both in quantity and quality. It was already unfit for drinking but now it is so badly polluted that bathing, washing, cooking etc is all being done in contaminated water as there is no other option . The sole electricity station in Gaza has shut down totally, fuel is no longer entering via Egypt and the small quantity of fuel allowed in via Israel is double the price of the Egyptian fuel and therefore out of the budget of many Palestinians or indeed all of us living in Gaza. Falafal oil from shops is now being used to run cars and motors.
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In the past week , the lack of fuel for the pumping stations means that raw sewage is now running down the streets here in Gaza city. Children wade through these streets on their way to school, Mothers carry shopping ,  Fathers carry infants ,  All carry the weight of the world through these streets ……….People without basic means of hygiene ( water) will now begin to become sick with illnesses such as dysentery, gastrological problems and severe diarrhoea. The generators in the hospitals are already running at full capacity and will soon also run out of fuel if they manage to continue working at all. The ministry of health have informed us that many basic medicines are now at an all time low and specific medicines have already run out. People are dying in Gaza right now.
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( world bulletin news desk)…Gaza’s Health Minister Mufid al-Mekhalilati , raised the alarm on the continued shutdown of the enclave’s sole power plant, saying the closure pushes the seaside strip into a “dark tunnel”.

He warned that kidney dialysis machines, hospital incubators and operation rooms as well as blood banks and hospital labs could stop working because of unrelenting electricity outages and fuel shortages.

“Repeated outages threaten to suspend the work of 88 kidney dialysis machines,” al-Mekhalilati told a press conference on Saturday.

This will ultimately deprive 476 kidney failure patients in Gaza from medical treatment and brings to halt the operation of 113 hospital incubators, 45 operations rooms and caesarean birth rooms, blood banks and hospital labs.

No electricity, No fuel, No gas, No medicine.. No water…….

While all this happens in Gaza, those needing to get out are denied. The Rafah border is all but permanently closed and has been for weeks. It is periodically opened for a few hours for a few days sporadically. As I write , it is now closed again , indefinitely. Palestinian students have lost hard earned scholarships, patients have died as medical aid needed abroad was denied, families are stranded on both sides of the Rafah border. The closure of the border and the tunnels to Gaza are impounding the already unbearable, illegal Siege on Gaza, strangling life from farmers , fishermen, an already struggling economy, students, mothers , fathers children and babies….

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Israel and Egypt have switched off life lines to Gaza while the rest of the world have switched off completely . It is up to people of good conscience to get the rest of the world to switch back on.

( Apologies for the pictures without credit, they were shared with me without names for creditation)

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