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Amnesty and NGOs demand Israel and Egypt act on wretchedness of Gaza

To sign the Avaaz petition Gaza: drinking water is running out, created by Jovita T, Palestine and Thirsting for Justice, click here . Started on September 26th the number of signatures had crept up to 8,731 by Sunday November 17th, to 8,886 by Sunday November 24th and 8,999 by December 1st. They hope to reach 100,000 to present it to EU leaders.

In this posting:
1) Plots and sewage thicken, Ramzy Baroud; 2) Gaza abandoned again, The Economist; 3)Palestinian NGOs call for an end to the suffering caused by power cuts; 4) Gaza power crisis has compounded blockade’s assault on human dignity, Amnesty.

A Palestinian vendor fries falafel by the light of a lamp powered by a mobile generator, on a street during a power cut in the northern Gaza Strip November 4, 2013. Photo by Mohammed Salem / Reuters

The Plot Thickens: Gaza is Flooded with Sewage and Conspiracies

By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle
November 27, 2013

The latest punishment of Gaza may seem like another familiar plot to humiliate the strip to the satisfaction of Israel, Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, and the military-controlled Egyptian government. But something far more sinister is brewing.

This time, the collective punishment of Gaza arrives in the form of raw sewage that is flooding many neighbourhoods across the impoverished and energy-chocked region of 360 km2 (139 sq mi) and 1.8 million inhabitants. Even before the latest crisis resulting from a severe shortage of electricity and diesel fuel that is usually smuggled through Egypt, Gaza was rendered gradually uninhabitable. A comprehensive UN report last year said that if no urgent action were taken, Gaza would be ‘unlivable’ by 2020. Since the report was issued in August 2012, the situation has grown much worse.

Over the years, especially since the tightening by Israel of the Gaza siege in 2007, the world has become accustomed to two realities: the ongoing multiparty scheme to weaken and defeat Hamas in Gaza, and Gaza’s astonishing ability to withstand the inhumane punishment of an ongoing siege, blockade and war.

Two infamous wars illustrate this idea: The first is Israel’s 22-day war of 2008-9 (killing over 1,400 Palestinians and wounding over 5,500 more) and the second is its more recent war of Nov 2012 – eight days of fighting that killed 167 Palestinians and six Israelis. In the second war, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president Mohammed Morsi was still in power. For the first time in many years, Egypt sided with Palestinians. Because of this and stiff Palestinian resistance in Gaza, the strip miraculously prevailed. Gaza celebrated its victory, and Israel remained somewhat at bay – while of course, mostly failing to honor its side of the Cairo-brokered agreement of easing Gaza’s economic hardship.

In relative terms, things seemed to be looking up for Gaza. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was largely opened, and both Egypt and the Hamas governments were in constant discussions regarding finding a sustainable economic solution to Gaza’s many woes. But the ousting by General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of President Morsi on July 3 changed all of that. The Egyptian military cracked down with vengeance by shutting down the border crossing and destroying 90-95 percent of all tunnels, which served as Gaza’s main lifeline and allowed it to withstand the Israeli siege.

Hopes were shattered quickly, and Gaza’s situation worsened like never before. Naturally, Cairo found in Ramallah a willing ally who never ceased colluding with Israel in order to ensure that their Hamas rivals were punished, along with the population of the strip.

Citing Gaza officials, the New York Times reported on Nov 21 that 13 sewerage stations in the Gaza Strip have either overflowed or are close to overflowing, and 3.5 million cubic feet of raw sewage find their way to the Mediterranean Sea on a daily basis. “The sanitation department may soon no longer be able to pump drinking water to Gaza homes,” it reported.

With no fuel for motor vehicles, Gaza city binmen struggle to keep on top of the waste using donkeys and handcarts. November 26, 2013. Photo by Mahmoud Hams / AFP

Farid Ashour, the Director of sanitation at the Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utilities, told the Times that the situation is ‘disastrous’. “We haven’t faced a situation as dangerous as this time,” he said. But the situation doesn’t have to be as dangerous or disastrous as it currently is. It has in fact been engineered to be that way.

Gaza’s only power plant has been a top priority target for Israeli warplanes for years. In 2006 it was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, to be opened a year later, only to be destroyed again. And although it was barely at full capacity when it operated last, it continued to supply Gaza with 30 percent of its electricity needs of 400 megawatts. 120 megawatts came through Israel, and nearly 30 megawatts came through Egypt. The total fell short from Gaza’s basic needs, but somehow Gaza subsisted. Following the ousting of Morsi and the Egyptian military crackdown, the shortage now stands at 65 percent of the total.

In an interview with the UN humanitarian news agency, IRIN, James W. Rawley, the humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, depicted a disturbing scene in which the impact of the crisis has reached “all essential services, including hospitals, clinics, sewage and water pumping stations.”

Mohammed Dahlan; will he have mysterious powers to rescue Gaza?

Israelis on the other hand, have been doing just fine since the last military encounter with Hamas. “The past year was a great one,” the Economist quoted the commander of Israel’s division that ‘watches’ Gaza, Brigadier Michael Edelstein. Due to the massive drop in the number of rockets fired from Gaza in retaliation to Israeli attacks and continued siege (50 rockets this year, compared to 1500 last year), “children in Israel’s border towns can sleep in their beds, not in shelters, and no longer go to school in armored buses,” according to the Economist on Nov 16.

“But Israel’s reciprocal promise to help revive Gaza’s economy has not been kept,” it reported. Israel has done everything it its power to keep Gaza in a crisis mode, from denying the strip solar panels so that they may generate their own electricity to blocking Gaza exports.  “In the meantime, Gaza is rotting away.”

Desperate to find immediate remedies, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh issued new calls to Mahmoud Abbas for a unity government. “Let’s have one government, one parliament and one president,” Haniyeh said in a recent speech, as quoted by Reuters. A Fatah spokesman, Ahmed Assaf, dismissed the call for it “included nothing new.” Meanwhile, the PA decided to end its subsidy on any fuel shipped to Gaza via Israel, increasing the price to $1.62 per liter from 79 cents. According to Ihab Bessisso of the PA, the decision to rescind Gaza’s tax exemption on fuel was taken because sending cheap fuel to Gaza “was unfair to West Bank residents,” according to the Times.

But fairness has little to with it. Reports by the Economist, Al Monitor and other media speak of Egyptian efforts to reintroduce Gaza’s former security chief and Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan to speed-up the anticipated collapse of the Hamas government. Al Monitor reported on Nov 21 that Dahlan, a notorious Fatah commander who was defeated by Hamas in 2007 because of, among other reasons, his close ties with Israeli intelligence, had met with General al-Sisi in Cairo. Evidently, the purpose is to oust Hamas out in the Gaza Strip. But the question is how? Some “suggest that a Palestinian brigade mustered in al-Arish could march on Gaza and, with Egyptian support, defeat the broad array of Hamas forces created in the last decade.”

With Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood out of the picture, at least for now, Gaza is more vulnerable than ever. Some of Abbas’s supporters and certainly Dahlan’s may believe that the moment to defeat their brethren in Gaza is now.

– Ramzy Baroud ( is a media consultant, an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of 

Miserable and weak again

The Palestinians’ coastal enclave is abandoned once more, in every way

By The Economist
November 16 2013

IN THE vanguard of the Islamist surge across the region a few years ago, Gaza’s Islamists now feel like the last men standing. Trapped between the Mediterranean sea and the walls of two hostile neighbours, Egypt and Israel, they wonder how long they, too, can survive. “It’s hopeless,” cries a senior man from Hamas, the Palestinians’ Islamist movement. “We tried democracy and we failed. We tried to reach out to the Israelis, accepting two states, and failed. We tried the armed struggle, and we paid the price.”

In olden times a crossroads between Africa and Asia, the tiny enclave of Gaza has rarely felt more isolated. Egypt’s generals, who took power last summer, have destroyed 90% of the tunnels through which Gaza got its fuel, shrouding the place in darkness. Mothers wake at midnight when the electricity briefly flickers on, to flush toilets and iron clothes. Lifts in high-rise buildings do not work. Sewage flows untreated. Farmers, unable to irrigate their fields, face ruin. “I should never have tried it,” says the owner of a hotel that opened last summer, overlooking Gaza’s picturesque port. Paying for his generators costs him more than he earns in a night.

Much of the mess is of Hamas’s own making. Carried away by the Arab awakening, its politburo abandoned its old patrons in Syria and Iran and rushed to embrace the Islamists who had taken power in Egypt. But the fall of its president, Muhammad Morsi, has left Hamas friendless. It has been kept out of the current negotiations, under America’s aegis, between Palestine and Israel. The only time the world seems to notice Gaza is when violence erupts. Gazans say they have dropped off the map.

This suits most Israelis. “The past year was a great one,” says the commander of Israel’s division that watches Gaza, Brigadier Michael Edelstein, celebrating the ceasefire that Israel agreed on with Hamas a year ago. Missiles lobbed at Israel from Gaza have fallen from 1,500 last year to about 50 so far this year, he says. Thanks to Hamas forces guarding the frontier against militants, he adds, children in Israel’s border towns can sleep in their beds, not in shelters, and no longer go to school in armoured buses.

But Israel’s reciprocal promise to help revive Gaza’s economy has not been kept. Egypt’s closure of the tunnels and its border crossing at Rafah has left Gaza’s 1.8m people dependent on Israel. Food is allowed in but not—for example—solar panels, which could provide Gazans with an independent source of electricity. Israel stops most Gazan goods from being exported. Last month it joined Egypt in preventing building material from being brought in, because Hamas’s military arm, it says, uses such supplies for building fortifications—and for digging tunnels, like a recently discovered one that stretched 200 yards into Israel. Cement prices have quadrupled in the past few months and tens of thousands of labourers have lost work. Collective punishment, say the Gazans.

Bereft of tunnel revenues, the Hamas government is nearly bankrupt. Gaza’s 40,000 public workers have been on half-pay since the summer. A growing number of Gazans want Hamas chucked out of power. Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine’s anti-Islamist president, based in the West Bank, has spurned Hamas’s offer to form a joint government mainly of his choosing.

Instead, he is cosying up to General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt’s new strongman. Mr Abbas has offered to arrange for Gaza to be supplied with fuel if Hamas pays tax to the Palestinian Authority, which he runs. Hamas suspects that Mr Abbas’s people are planning to overthrow it, much as General Sisi got rid of Mr Morsi in July. Some say the Egyptians are grooming Muhammad Dahlan, Mr Abbas’s former strongman in Gaza, for a comeback.

But Hamas has no intention of going quietly. “Unlike the Muslim Brotherhood, we will not be good victims,” says Basim Naim, a senior Hamas official. As the risk of confrontation grows, Hamas’s military men are returning to the fore. Ismail Haniyeh, Gaza’s Hamas prime minister, normally a mellifluous speaker, has begun to read from prepared speeches. And Hamas is acting with renewed harshness towards dissent, especially against “Tamarod” (“Revolt”), a nebulous group echoing Egypt’s anti-Islamist movement of the same name. Gaza’s Tamarod used social media to call for an uprising on November 11th, the anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, the Palestinians’ longtime leader. But Hamas banned any such commemoration and threatened to shoot protesters on sight. In the event, the streets were quiet.

Brigadier Edelstein worries about Gaza’s mounting mood of insecurity. “Sometimes, when your enemy is weak, it is dangerous,” he says. Should Hamas totter, he warns, Gaza could again become a free-for-all for extreme militants. “Find an accommodation with Israel,” said Eyad Serraj, a respected but ailing Gazan human-rights campaigner, when Mr Haniyeh visited him for advice. Others suggest that Turkey and Qatar, Hamas’s last regional backers, could seek to send aid through Israel, paving the way for improved ties between all four. But such a rapprochement seems unlikely at present. In the meantime, Gaza is rotting away.

Palestinians NGOs and Human Rights Organizations Call for Immediately Ending Suffering of Civilians Due to Electricity Outages

Joint Press Release, PNGO
November 27, 2013

The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip express their deep concern for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the population of the Gaza Strip due to the continued tightened closure imposed by Israel on 1.8 million people and its impact on all aspects of their lives, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli occupation forces. PNGO and human rights organizations are deeply concerned for the aggravation of the crisis of electricity outages resulting from these policies which leads to an imminent humanitarian disaster seriously impacting all vital interests of the population, including water and sanitation services, educational services and all daily necessary vital services.

PNGO and human rights organizations are concerned that the deterioration in all aspects of the population’s life may further aggravate as a result of the continuous consequences of the Palestinian political split and the failure of its two parties to solve the power and fuel crisis which has been persistent since late June 2006 when Israeli forces bombarded the Gaza Power Plant.

PNGO and human rights organizations observe with deep concern the deterioration of humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population since 01 November 2013, when the Gaza Power Plant was forced off due to the lack of fuel. Both governments in Ramallah and Gaza have failed to take any effective steps to overcome this crisis and its consequences, and accordingly all daily basic services needed by the population have disastrously deteriorated. As a result of the crisis, electricity supplies to all vital facilities, including houses and health, environmental and educational facilities, have been sharply decreased; electricity is off for 12 hours and then on for 6 hours only.

PNGO and human rights organizations believe that the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip is essentially a result of Israeli systematic policies against the civilian population, including bombarding the sole power plant in the Gaza Strip in late June 2006, and decreasing fuel supplies to the power plant in the context of the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. PNGO and human rights organizations are aware of the continuous deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to the crisis of electricity outages, while the international community remains silent towards human rights violations perpetrated by Israeli forces, which have created and perpetuated the crisis, including targeting the infrastructure of the electricity sectors, such as supply and transmission lines and towers, during repeated incursions into the Gaza Strip, or using fuel and other consumptive goods as a means to punish the population, and the Israeli authorities’ failure to meet their obligations as an occupying power to maintain the operation of medical facilities and water and sanitation services.

It is worth noting that the electricity crisis has become a serious challenge to normal life of the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, which poses imminent risks to all aspects of daily life due to its direct impacts.

Gaza’s sole power plant in Nusairat has been shut down for a month due to lack of fuel. Photo by Mohamed Abd, AFP / Getty

Currently, the crisis has led to suspension of many health care programs and services, waste water treatment, water supplies, especially to high buildings, and educational services. Vital economic sectors, especially workshops and commercial stores, have sustained large economic losses, due to Israeli attacks and the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. Life for Palestinians living in high buildings has become extremely difficult due to the lack of electricity that is necessary to operate elevators and provide water supplies. The crisis has also impacted the educational process and the economic and living conditions of the population due to their inability to provide alternatives to electricity supplies, especially with the high prices of fuel which the population cannot afford. Additionally, the electricity crisis and the population’s efforts to find alternatives have caused horrible human tragedies. According to information of human rights organizations, 16 Palestinians, including 14 children and one woman, have died by fire, and 9 others, including 5 children, have sustained burns since the beginning of 2012.

PNGO and human rights organizations strongly condemn the failure of relevant parties to fulfill their obligations and take practical steps to ensure ending the suffering of the civilian population, while all justifications claimed by them are not acceptable. There are concerns that the Gaza Strip may turn into an area of a disaster due to the deterioration of humanitarian conditions. PNGO and human rights organizations believe that all concerned parties, including the international community, the occupying power pursuant to its international legal obligations and both governments in Ramallah and Gaza, should ensure protection of and respect for the inherent human dignity as a value whose waste can never be justified, or be subject to material or political bargains. Causing this human suffering that may lead to loss of lives can never be justified.

PNGO and human rights organizations in the Gaza Strip call upon all parties to immediately act to stop the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that take into the consideration the civilian population’s needs and ensure protection of their lives and respect for their basic rights, including supplying all consignments of medicines and foods and basic services that are necessary for the population. PNGO and human rights organizations emphasize the following:

1. Israeli occupation authorities are legally responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the Gaza Strip’s population and the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip as a form of collective punishment, as Israel is an occupying power according to the international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

2. The international community is responsible for the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip due to its failure to fulfill its legal and moral obligation and compel Israel to lift the illegal closure imposed on the Gaza Strip.

3. Both governments in Gaza and Ramallah must immediately and seriously act to end the electricity crisis, overcome the differences whose price is paid by the Gaza Strip’s population, abstain from pushing basic services and sectors into the political conflict, put an end to the suffering of the civilian population and find sustainable and strategic solutions that protect basic rights of people and the requirements for their adequate living conditions.

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights
Aldameer Association for Human Rights

Children play in streets flooded with raw sewage in al-Zaytoun, south of Gaza City, after the shutdown. Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Israel/OPT: Gaza power crisis has compounded blockade’s assault on human dignity

Amnesty International, OPT/Israel
December 01, 2013

At a Glance

28 June 2006 – Israeli aircraft fired eight missiles into the Gaza power plant, destroying all six of its transformers and putting it out of operations. Israeli restrictions on imports of construction materials, equipment and spare parts obstructed repairs to the plant, and it has yet to regain the generation capacity it had prior to the attack.
October 2007 – Following a cabinet decision, Israel reduced the amount of industrial diesel fuel sold to the Gaza Strip by around 20 per cent, and also cut sales of petrol and regular diesel. The Gaza power plant depended on industrial diesel imported from Israel and was forced to cut back operations.

January 2008 – Israel’s High Court of Justice denied a petition by human rights organizations against the restrictions on fuel supply to the Gaza Strip, after the government commited to allowing industrial diesel imports of 2.2 million litres per week, only about two-thirds of the amount needed for the power plant to operate at its full capacity.
November 2008 – Israel suspended imports of industrial diesel fuel, along with regular diesel, petrol and cooking gas, into Gaza; only a fraction of the needed amounts were supplied in November and December 2008.

27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 – Israel’s air strikes and ground offensive during Operation “Cast Lead” severely damaged civilian infrastructure across the Strip, including electrical, water and sewage facilities. Afterwards, repairs of crucial infrastructure were again hampered by Israeli restrictions on imports.
Since January 2011, no industrial diesel fuel has been imported to Gaza from Israel, due in part to disputes between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority over payment and taxes; the power plant has instead relied on regular diesel fuel brought into Gaza via the tunnels from Egypt.

The blockade has collectively punished Gaza’s population in violation of international law. The power plant shutdown has further affected all aspects of daily life, and the Israeli authorities must lift the blockade immediately, starting by allowing urgently needed fuel supplies into the Strip and working with all relevant parties to avert a prolonged humanitarian crisis this winter.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme
Sun, 01/12/2013

Israel must immediately lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip, including by allowing the delivery of fuel and other essential supplies into the territory without restrictions, said Amnesty International today.

For the last month, all of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents have been living without power for most of the time and in the shadow of a public health catastrophe, after their sole power plant was forced to shut down, causing the failure of several sewerage and water plants.

“This latest harsh setback has exacerbated the assault on the dignity of Palestinians in Gaza and the massive denial of rights they have experienced for more than six years because of Israel’s blockade, together with restrictions imposed by Egypt,” said Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The blockade has collectively punished Gaza’s population in violation of international law. The power plant shutdown has further affected all aspects of daily life, and the Israeli authorities must lift the blockade immediately, starting by allowing urgently needed fuel supplies into the Strip and working with all relevant parties to avert a prolonged humanitarian crisis this winter.”

The power plant, which until recently supplied 30 per cent of the Gaza Strip’s electricity, ran out of diesel fuel on 1 November. The resulting shutdown has exacerbated an ongoing water and sanitation crisis and has left Gaza residents without power for 16 hours a day.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, all 291 water and wastewater facilities in the Gaza Strip are now relying on standby generators, which are also affected by the fuel shortages. On 13 November a large sewage pumping station failed in al-Zaytoun, south of Gaza City, allowing more than 35,000 cubic metres of raw sewage to spew into the streets.

Local authorities have struggled to clean up the spill, leaving some 3,000 residents wading through sewage. The clean-up finally began on 29 November, according to local residents, following efforts by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and other agencies, and an emergency donation from Turkey to pay for fuel for critical sewage stations.

“The reason for the flood of sewage was the blockade,” a resident of al-Zaytoun told Amnesty International. “The question is, why is the blockade being allowed to continue? What is our crime? There is no justification for this situation. We just want to live like any other people in the world.”

Ten other sewage pumping stations in the Gaza Strip have been forced to divert sewage to open channels, lagoons, or the sea during the last month, and other stations are close to overflowing.

Before the current crisis, some 90 million litres of raw or partially treated sewage were being dumped into the sea off Gaza every day. Since the power plant shutdown, more raw sewage is being dumped into the sea. For years, more than 90 per cent of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer has been polluted and unfit for human consumption due to the infiltration of sewage and seawater and prolonged over-extraction because of Israel’s disproportionate use of water resources.

Water supply to households across the Strip, which was already rationed, has also been reduced since the power plant shutdown. Some 65 per cent of Gaza’s population only receive water once every three or four days.

“For each day that the Gaza power plant does not receive fuel, the risk of a massive public health crisis increases. Access to adequate sanitation and drinking water are fundamental human rights. The power plant shutdown should never have been allowed to happen,” said Philip Luther.

Hospitals and other health facilities throughout the Gaza Strip have been relying on their own generators during the lengthy power outages. But the generators are also affected by fuel shortages, jeopardizing essential services like kidney dialysis, operating theatres, blood banks, intensive care units, neo-natal care, and laboratories, putting patients’ lives at risk.

Businesses, construction, and much agricultural work have also ground to a halt amid the power cuts and shortages of fuel and building materials. This has further reduced the incomes of many households who already had trouble meeting their basic needs.

Bakeries have reduced production and people are forced to queue to buy bread. Transportation throughout the Strip has been curtailed; carts pulled by donkeys are now being used to collect solid waste. The Strip’s schools and universities have also been affected.

Since June 2007, when the Israeli blockade was tightened, Gaza’s energy, water, and sanitation infrastructure has been inadequate to fulfil the basic rights of its inhabitants. They were already poor due to prior Israeli restrictions and decades of neglect.

Before the power plant shut down, Gaza already suffered from a chronic electricity shortage and routine power outages. Since 1 November, the electricity currently supplied to the Strip – which is purchased from Israel and Egypt – covers less than 40 per cent of the population’s needs.

A main factor triggering the shutdown was the Egyptian military’s campaign to destroy tunnels between Gaza and Sinai – more than 90 per cent have been removed since June 2013. Since early 2011, the power plant was run on Egyptian diesel brought in through some of those tunnels – the amount dropped from about 1 million litres per day in June 2013 to around 20,000 litres per week in November.

Amnesty International is calling on the Egyptian authorities to facilitate construction of new power lines to increase the electricity supply to the southern Gaza Strip and work with Palestinian and Israeli authorities to find a sustainable solution to the fuel crisis.


On 28 June 2006, Israeli aircraft fired eight missiles into the Gaza power plant, destroying all its transformers. Israeli restrictions on imports of construction materials, spare parts, and fuel impeded reconstruction. These restrictions were tightened after Israel imposed a complete air, land and sea blockade on Gaza in June 2007, when Hamas established a de facto administration in the Strip.

As the occupying power, Israel has the primary responsibility for addressing the current crisis by immediately increasing fuel supplies to Gaza. It must also address the long-term crisis by completely lifting the blockade, including by allowing fuel into Gaza without restrictions, allowing construction materials and equipment necessary for repairing and maintaining vital infrastructure, and increasing electricity supplies to Gaza by facilitating the construction of new power lines.

Continuing disputes between the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority over payment and taxes are also a factor in the current crisis. Both authorities must co-operate so that the power plant again receives a steady supply of fuel and can resume operations.

According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, only about a quarter of the water and sanitation projects in Gaza included in the 2013 Consolidated Appeals Process have been funded.

The return of Mohammed Dahlan, Palestine Pulse, October 30, 2013

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