Via Electronic Intifada:
“As each day brings new horror in Gaza, Palestinians in the besieged Strip have become largely cut off from the outside world as Israeli bombing has badly damaged the electricity infrastructure and telecommunications network.
The bodies of at least sixteen Palestinians were pulled from the rubble after an Israeli strike hit a United Nations school in Jabaliya refugee camp on Wednesday. Approximately 3,300 displaced people were taking refuge in the school.
Later that same day, Israeli forces shelled an open market in the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, the site of a terrible massacre last week, killing at least seventeen. Residents had ventured out to the market during a four-hour humanitarian truce unilaterally declared by Israel. The victims included a journalist — the seventh media worker killed in Gaza since the onslaught began on 7 July — and emergency health care workers.
Monday night was one of the heaviest nights of shelling during the last three weeks of Israel’s all-out military offensive on Gaza. On that night alone, dozens of Palestinians were killed.
Many areas across the Gaza Strip came under random tank shelling, and Israel bombed the only power plant, leaving much of Gaza without electricity. Most households in Gaza City currently receive only up to two hours of electricity per day, according to the United Nations, and other areas in central Gaza are receiving no electricity at all.
Officials say the damage done to the power plant could take up to one year to repair — that is if Israel allows Gaza to import the necessary spare parts and allows engineering experts to enter.
These power outages mean that water pumps and sewage stations have stopped functioning, leading to a serious humanitarian and environmental crisis in terms of lack of clean drinking water and basic sanitation.
The only mobile network in some areas failed as well, not only due to power cuts but because many transmission towers have been damaged since the start of Israel’s military aggression against Gaza on 7 July.
Meanwhile, hospitals and other vital facilities remain at serious risk as their generators cannot provide safe, sustainable electricity and power. Twenty-three health care facilities have been damaged by the Israeli military, according to the UN.
“We have been suffering from frequent power cuts since 2006, and now the bombing of the power station will worsen our miserable life given that we cannot find fuel to power small electrical generators,” said Nader Daher, a 35-year-old who was displaced from his home in Gaza City.
“Everyone tries to conserve his mobile battery; we also can’t keep food in the freezer and [we’re] running out of canned food,” he added.
More than 240,000 residents from different cities and towns across Gaza have become internally displaced, many of them seeking shelter at United Nations-run schools, according to the UN. Some are staying at relatives’ homes, dozens packed into one house.
“We do not have electricity nor water,” Khamis Jabali, 27, a displaced resident of Gaza City, said. “We wait for the water tanker to come to this school to fill our bottles. It’s hot, and we have not had showers for weeks now. Hundreds of us here we share water and toilets. […]”
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