[News] Sewage floods Gaza City neighborhoods after treatment plant runs out of fuel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Nov 19 10:53:28 EST 2013

  Sewage floods Gaza City neighborhoods after treatment plant runs out
  of fuel

author Tuesday November 19, 2013 09:31author by Saed Bannoura

    As a consequence of the recent Israeli and Egyptian clampdown on the
    tunnels under the border between Gaza and Egypt, fuel has become
    exceedingly scarce in Gaza, and a major waste treatment plant in
    Gaza City has shut down, leading to floods of sewage in the city

The plant shut down on Wednesday November 13th, and has remained offline 
since then. The most severely impacted area is the Al Sabra 
neighborhood, which has several feet of raw sewage covering the streets 
of the neighborhood.

Palestinians living in Gaza depend on the tunnels to provide food, fuel 
and other supplies since the Israeli blockade has closed the border.

Because of the sewage treatment plant shutdown,hildren have had to wade 
to school through the sewage. Medical personnel note that the health 
implications of the raw, open sewage flooding the streets are 
disastrous. An estimated 20,000 people live in the contaminated area.

The organization Medical Aid to Palestinians warned on November 7th, 
"Medical Aid for Palestinians is calling for immediate action to enable 
Gaza's power plant to resume its operations. The shut-down of the plant 
is having a serious impact on the ability of hospitals and primary 
healthcare clinics to provide essential services.

"The power plant has been out of action for a week, due to a critical 
fuel shortage. Normally, Gaza needs more than 320 megawatts of 
electricity. With the closure of the plant, it has less than half the 
electricity it needs -- with 120 megawatts coming from Israel and 27 
megawatts from Egypt.

"When the power plant was working at full capacity, Gaza's population of 
1.7 million people was subject to power outages for 8-10 hours per day. 
Since the power plant was shut down last Friday, Gaza has been 
experiencing outages for 12-18 hours per day."

In addition to the shutdown of the wastewater treatment facility, the 
lack of fuel has led to a critical situation for Gaza's hospitals, which 
have become dependent on generators to provide power for lifesaving 
medical equipment 
Now that blackouts in the city are nearly continuous, the dependence on 
the generators has become even greater, and very little fuel remains.

A representative for the Gaza municipality, Sa'ad El-Deen Al-Tbash, told 
reporters from the Reuters news agency on November 14th, "This is the 
start of a catastrophe and unless the world listens to our cries, a real 
disaster may hit Gaza and its people".

Analyst Juan Cole pointed out in a November 18th article on the Gaza 
crisis, "US State Department cables revealed by Wikileaks show that the 
Israelis are deliberately keeping the Palestinians of Gaza just on the 
verge of a humanitarian catastrophe. As a result, 56 percent of 
residents are 'food insecure.' They aren't starving but they are just 
one or two lost paychecks away from starving. This kind of social 
engineering experiment on human beings (i.e. keeping Palestinians "on a 
diet") is unconscionable to anyone in their right mind. It is also 
illegal in international law to impose collective punishment on an 
Occupied population."

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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