[News] Gaza Power Plant Forced off affecting lives of 1.7 Million People

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Nov 8 14:27:58 EST 2013

  URGENT | Gaza Power Plant Forced off affecting lives of 1.7 Million People

November 8, 2013

* Friday November 08, 2013 01:57 by Palestinian Center for Human Rights 
-- PCHR | IMEMC* <http://www.imemc.org/article/66373>

Humanitarian Conditions of Approximately 1.7 million Palestinians in the 
Gaza Strip Deteriorate

    *The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses deep
    concern over the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the
    civilian population due to the aggravation of the electricity crisis
    in the Gaza Strip.*

On Friday morning, 01 November 2013, the operation of the Gaza power 
plant was totally stopped due to the lack of fuel required for its 

PCHR is deeply concerned that the current crisis may impact the access 
of 1.7 million Palestinians to vital services, including the supply of 
drinking water, and that this crisis may result in the suspension of 
work in some vital sectors, such as health, sanitation and education.

According to PCHR's follow-up of the chronic power crisis in the Gaza 
Strip, the Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza announced that the 
operation of the Gaza Power plant was totally stopped on Friday morning, 
01 November 2012.

The Energy Authority claimed that its counterpart in Ramallah stopped 
the fuel supplies required to operate the power plant and its requested 
taxes on the price of fuel.

However, the Energy Authority in Gaza announced its inability to pay 
taxes on the price of the industrial fuel.

On the other hand, the Energy Authority in Ramallah refused to provide 
any new fuel supplies required for operating the power plant resulting 
in the total lack of fuel and the shutdown of the plant.

The shutdown of the Gaza plant power has left serious consequences on 
the humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip's population due to the 
deficit in daily needs of power in Gaza.

The Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) in Gaza was forced to 
increase the hours of power outages on houses and vital facilities from 
8 to 12 hours daily.

Thus, the schedule, which is applied, based on which power will be 
distributed for six hours and then cut off for 12 hours resulting in 
further deterioration in humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip's 

It should be mentioned that the power plant was providing around 65 
megawatts during the years of its reparation and rehabilitation after 
being targeted and destroyed by Israeli forces in June 2006.

The power plant had worked since June 2012 to produce around 100 megawatts.

The Gaza Energy Authority stated that the electricity is provided to the 
Gaza Strip as follows: 120 megawatts from Israel and 27 megawatts 
supplied by Egypt.

The Gaza power plant has been suffering from a significant decrease in 
fuel supplies required for its operation coming from Egypt through 
tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, as the supplies have almost 
completely stopped for around 2 months.

As a result, the Energy Authority in Gaza purchased fuel from Israel 
through its counterpart in Ramallah. At that time, the Palestinian 
Authority (PA) in Ramallah exempted fuel purchases from taxes.

However, the Energy Authority in Ramallah demanded its counterpart in 
Gaza to pay the taxes on the fuel supplies due to the PA's current 
financial crisis.

The Energy Authority in Gaza refused to pay those taxes claiming that it 
cannot afford paying them.

PCHR has been following the power crisis consequences in the Gaza strip 
since the power plant stopped operating after Israeli forces targeted 
and destroyed it in June 2006 resulting in catastrophic impacts on the 
power supplies in the Gaza Strip.

PCHR has been also following the impacts of the ongoing Palestinian 
political split, whose two parties failed to find solutions that take 
into account the best interests of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and 
stop the deterioration of humanitarian conditions and provide of their 
electrical power needs and fuel required to operate the Gaza plant power.

PCHR is deeply concerned over further deterioration of civilians' 
humanitarian conditions as the power crisis has affected all civilians' 
daily life needs and violated their right to access to basic and 
necessary services, including access to health facilities and to 
treatment, access to educational institutions, including schools and 
universities, and access to water services, including drinking water in 
homes and all other vital services.

*Through continuous follow-up of the effects of the aggravation of the 
power crisis, PCHR has observed serious deterioration of the 
humanitarian situation from which the residents of Gaza are suffering:*

. About 1, 7 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip are facing 
deficiencies in all walks of their daily life, which have affected their 
basic needs, including health services, access to water, environmental 
health services and ability to meet the educational needs of school and 
university students.

. The deterioration of health conditions in the health facilities of the 
Gaza Strip due to inability to compensate the shortage of electricity 
for long hours on one hand, and their inability to provide fuel needed 
to run the alternative generators in these facilities on the other hand, 
in addition to breakdown of many machines and medical equipment at 
hospitals and health facilities of the Gaza Strip.

. Hundreds of patients in the hospitals of the Gaza Strip face serious 
health risks as the medical equipment are not run regularly, especially 
in the intensive care units and other medical units like heart and 
kidney units.

. Local bodies, including municipalities and village councils, are 
unable to provide alternative fuel to ensure the workflow of their vital 
facilities serving the population of the Gaza Strip, including water and 
sanitation facilities. Citizens' complaints started to resound because 
of their inability to get water in their houses, especially in high 

. Different bakeries in the Gaza Strip said that they partially stopped 
working due to the long hours of power outage and the shortage of the 
fuel needed to run the machines. One can notice overcrowding for long 
hours in front of bakeries in order to get the basic needs.

. Educational facilities in universities and educational institutions 
are suffering serious disorder, which led to the inactivity of many 
educational laboratories and the postponement of some educational 
assignments due to electricity shortage and lack of alternative power 

The aggravation of electricity crisis has coincided with the mid-term 
exams that started about a week ago in the schools and universities of 
the Gaza Strip. The majority of governmental schools is still without 
electricity and cannot provide the students with alternatives.

. Hundreds of institutions and associations in the Gaza Strip had to 
postpone their activities and programs due to the electricity shortage 
all day and their inability to provide alternative power sources to run 
their machines and equipment.

. The suffering of the population of the Gaza Strip has seriously 
aggravated, especially those living in high buildings and who depend on 
elevators in the ascending and descending from their apartments. Dozens 
of residents, including elderly people and patients with chronic 
diseases have been greatly affected.

*PCHR is following the power crisis in the Gaza Strip with grave concern 

1. Calls on all concerned parties, including the Palestinian government 
in Ramallah, the Palestinian government in Gaza and the Electricity 
Distribution Company in Gaza to make efforts to provide the fuel needed 
to run the power plant and ensure its workflow with no cessation;

2. Warns of the serious consequences of the stoppage of the power plant 
on all vital sectors, including the basic services for about 1, 7 
million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, like drinking water 
supplies, disruption of health facilities, including hospitals and 
medical centers, in addition to the sewage plants and educational sectors.

3. Calls on the international community to pressurize Israel, the 
occupying power according to international humanitarian law, to lift the 
illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip since June 2007, to fulfill 
their legal commitments towards the civilian population of the Gaza 
Strip and to ensure access to all the medicines, food, and basic 
services, including fuel supplies needed to run the Gaza Power Plant.

*Public Document*

Follow PCHR on Facebook and Twitter
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza , Gaza Strip, on 
+972 8 2824776 -- 2825893
PCHR, 29 Omer El Mukhtar St., El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. 
E-mail: pchr at pchrgaza.org, Webpage

*Related Link(s): http://www.pchrgaza.org*
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