Palestine on the Brink of a Humanitarian Crisis
By admin April 11, 2017

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The Gaza Strip is on the verge of a “humanitarian crisis”. According to the United Nations, a top commander in the Israeli army had written to them to warn about the lack of water and electricity being supplied in the Gaza Strip, thus to prepare for such crisis. Not only did the top commander write, but the Major General Yoav Mordechai of the Israel Defence Forces sent letters to a few international entities in the UN’s special envoy for the Middle East peace process also warning of the crisis soon to come and the need for preventative measures for civilians before it is too late.

About 96 percent of water in Gaza is undrinkable, while the only aquifer is no longer functioning properly after overuse. The area continues to have major electricity blackouts. Some areas would only receive three hours of continuous power during the winter months. Indeed, these areas have always lived with cuts in their power regularly, however the uncontrollable levels have begun to affect other elements such as hospitals and the patient’s care, as well as the 2 million inhabitants trying to survive in the cold and dark during the winter time. On the other hand, those living indoors rely on electric pumps to run their water, thus washing, showering, cooking, and doing laundry has become extremely difficult.

Hamas, the militant organization overseeing the Gaza area, acts “instead of worrying about the welfare of residents, Hamas is harming them and making it difficult for the international organization that worked hard to supply drinking water.” In 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza and in response, Israel created a land and sea blockade, preventing access to the imports of goods and power subsequently leading to shortages across the occupied area.

In order to improve the undrinkable water situation, desalination plants must be connected to the electric grid, however Israel supports such plants and Hamas won’t allow the connection to be made. In January, a UNICEF team constructed a desalination plant in Khan Younis with capacity of 6,000 cubic meters of water per day,that would be enough for 75,000 people. A second plant is in the making, however the money hasn’t been fully raised. Israel has offered to double the supply of water to Gaza from 10 million cubic meters per year to 20 million cubic meters.

As for the energy crisis, the shortfall is about 200 megawatts a day. Currently, Israel provides 60 percent of electricity to Gaza. A plant in the Strip provides 30 percent and Egypt provides the last 10 percent. Israel has approved a high-voltage power line to Gaza that will allow for an additional 100 megawatts of energy. This will take a couple years before it is up and running.

The UN envoy stated in response, “I urge the responsible parties to work together to find a solution to the current crisis and call on all factions to allow the Palestinian Government to assume its responsibility in Gaza.” International aid is needed from organizations and governments to prevent such issues that will soon leave the Gaza Strip in a destructive “humanitarian crisis”.

Read More:

Israel tells UN Gaza faces an “impending humanitarian crisis”

Israel warns of snowballing humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Israel expresses concern, blames Palestinian leadership for Gaza water crisis

Gaza Humanitarian Crisis
Israel Warns UN of Imminent Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza Strip

Thanks for sharing !

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