Wed 15 Mar 2023 9:30 pm - Jerusalem Time

The exacerbation of crises increases the hardship of life in the Gaza Strip

GAZA - (Xinhua) - Life crises are escalating in the Gaza Strip , which is inhabited by nearly two million people, day after day, in light of the worsening electricity crisis, the high rates of poverty and unemployment, and the dependence on international aid.

Officials and local residents complain that the Israeli blockade imposed on the narrow, overcrowded coastal strip since June 2007 is one of the main obstacles to economic recovery and revival.

Perhaps the power outage crisis is one of the crises that afflict the residents of the Strip with the onset of summer and the accompanying high temperatures, as electricity hours reach homes for about 6 hours and power cuts are cut off for more than 10 hours.

When the electricity went out in her small, asbestos-roofed house in the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, Umm Hassan Awad hurried to carry a piece of plastic in her hand, hoping to bring the air current to her children sleeping around her in the yard of the house.

Umm Hassan, whose face is covered in sweat, complains that she cannot do her housework because of the power outage for long hours, as well as her children who complain of high temperatures.

Umm Hassan, while sitting with her husband and two children in the yard of their house, told Xinhua that the children sleep on the floor due to the high temperatures, and I cannot find an alternative to that in light of the long power outages.

The homes of the majority of the Gaza Strip's population turn into cemeteries in the summer, at a time when many Palestinian families flee to the seashore, as it is the only outlet in light of the disastrous situation.

Muhammad Thabet, spokesman for the Electricity Company in Gaza, told Xinhua that the deficit in the distribution schedule is the difference between the available electric current and the required one, pointing out that the company suffers in the summer from the demand for energy.

Thabet stated that the Gaza Strip needs 550 megawatts per day, and all that is available does not exceed 180 megawatts produced by the only power station in the strip or through transmission lines from the Israeli side.

Despite the intensification of the power outage crisis and its impact on climatic factors, the majority of the Gaza Strip population cannot rely on alternative energy sources, as they are very expensive in light of the difficult economic conditions.

In parallel, Mays al-Aqraa, in her mid-40s, was saddened by the fact that she lived in her small house in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, accompanied by her husband and 8 of her children, on one meal a day.

"My husband is unemployed, and he goes out daily with two of his children in search of scrap to sell in order to provide a living," Mais Al-Aqraa told Xinhua while preparing an egg meal for her children in her cramped kitchen.

Mays, who complains of the difficult situation and the bitterness of life, adds, "My adult children, no more than 12 years old, left school to work with their father because of the lack of home money."

Local officials say that food insecurity, which has reached more than 70 percent in the sector, especially among the most vulnerable groups in society, seriously warns of the reality of these groups, which are increasingly deteriorating in light of the rise in global prices.

Israel has imposed a strict blockade on the Gaza Strip for 15 years, and Israel launched 4 large-scale military operations, the latest of which was in May of last year, which caused the destruction of hundreds of residential homes and massive damage to the infrastructure.

Adnan Abu Hasna, media advisor at UNRWA, believes that the conditions in the Gaza Strip are "tragic, most of the population there are refugees, and 80% of them are below the poverty line, and the unemployment rate rose in the first quarter of this year to more than 50%, and poverty rates to 65%."

Abu Hasna told reporters in Gaza that the population depends almost entirely on humanitarian aid, and this situation has consequences on all psychological, social and economic levels.

In this regard, Salah Abd al-Ati, director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Gaza, said that the Palestinians live in a difficult environment, and many of them resort to emigration because they are unable to continue living under difficult circumstances.

Abdel Ati said in radio statements that the matter calls for urgent international intervention to lift the siege imposed on Gaza, end the division and restore national unity.


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The exacerbation of crises increases the hardship of life in the Gaza Strip