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JfJfP comments


2016:

06 May: Tair Kaminer starts her fifth spell in gaol. Send messages of support via Reuven Kaminer

04 May: Against the resort to denigration of Israel’s critics

2015:

23 Dec: JfJfP policy statement on BDS

14 Nov: Letter to the Guardian about the Board of Deputies

11 Nov: UK ban on visiting Palestinian mental health workers

20 Oct: letter in the Guardian

13 Sep: Rosh Hashanah greetings

21 Aug: JfJfP on Jeremy Corbyn

29 July: Letter to Evening Standard about its shoddy reporting

24 April: Letter to FIFA about Israeli football

15 April: Letter re Ed Miliband and Israel

11 Jan: Letter to the Guardian in response to Jonathan Freedland on Charlie Hebdo

2014:

15 Dec: Chanukah: Celebrating the miracle of holy oil not military power

1 Dec: Executive statement on bill to make Israel the nation state of the Jewish people

25 Nov: Submission to All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism

7 Sept: JfJfP Executive statement on Antisemitism

3 Aug: Urgent disclaimer

19 June Statement on the three kidnapped teenagers

25 April: Exec statement on Yarmouk

28 Mar: EJJP letter in support of Dutch pension fund PGGM's decision to divest from Israeli banks

24 Jan: Support for Riba resolution

16 Jan: EJJP lobbies EU in support of the EU Commission Guidelines, Aug 2013–Jan 2014

2013:

29 November: JfJfP, with many others, signs a "UK must protest at Bedouin expulsion" letter

November: Press release, letter to the Times and advert in the Independent on the Prawer Plan

September: Briefing note and leaflet on the Prawer Plan

September: JfJfP/EJJP on the EU guidelines with regard to Israel

14th June: JfJfP joins other organisations in protest to BBC

2nd June: A light unto nations? - a leaflet for distribution at the "Closer to Israel" rally in London

24 Jan: Letter re the 1923 San Remo convention

18 Jan: In Support of Bab al-Shams

17 Jan: Letter to Camden New Journal about Veolia

11 Jan: JfJfP supports public letter to President Obama

Comments in 2012 and 2011

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Posts

Conspiracy of silence about Gaza

1), The UN’s itemisation of all that Gaza lacks, from medical care and sewage pumps to fresh water and household lighting, is devastating. 2) Al Arabiya pinpoints Israel’s closure of crossing points for the import of fuel. 3) Ingenious attempts to find power from IPS, with inset on Gaza’s crossing points (mostly closed); 4) Al Jazeera reports on the limited resumption of fuel supplies.


Palestinian children protest against power cuts in front of a Palestinian electric company in Gaza City in November 2013, Photo / AP

The humanitarian impact of Gaza’s electricity and fuel crisis

By OCHA / UN
March 2014

KEY FACTS

●The Gaza Strip is supplied with electricity from three sources: purchases from Israel (120 megawatts, MW) and from Egypt (28 MW), and production by the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) (currently 60 MW). This supply meets approximately 46% of the estimated demand.

● Due to severe shortages of fuel, since July 2013, the GPP has been operating at approximately half of its capacity of 120 MW, triggering an average of rolling power outages of up to 12 hours per day. On several occasions, it has been forced to shut down completely, resulting in scheduled blackouts of up to 16 hours a day.

Due to the insufficient and irregular power supply:

● More than 30% of households in Gaza are supplied with running water for 6-8 hours only once every four days (WASH cluster).

● Up to 90 million litres of partially treated sewage are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea every day (WASH cluster).

● By January 2014, over 300 medical machines at hospitals were out of order, including the only MRI machine at Gaza European Hospital, as of (WHO).

● The average waiting time for some types of elective surgery at Gaza’s largest hospital (Shifa) is over a year (WHO).

● Water desalination units have reduced their operation levels by approximately 40% since the beginning of 2014 (WASH cluster).

● At least 140,000 dunums of land planted with fruits and vegetables are at risk of drought due to inability to use 85 percent of the agricultural wells operated with electricity (PARC)

The chronic electricity deficit affecting Gaza over the past few years has disrupted the delivery of basic services and undermined already vulnerable livelihoods and living conditions. The situation has further deteriorated since June 2013, following the halt in the smuggling of Egyptian-subsidized fuel used to operate the GPP, via the tunnels.

2. The generating capacity and reliability of the GPP has been significantly impaired over the past eight years by additional factors. These include the destruction of six transformers by an Israeli airstrike in 2006; the restrictions on the import of spare parts, equipment, and fuel in the context of Israel’s blockade; and the dispute between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the de-facto-authorities in Gaza over the funding of GPP operations. The resulting decline has been exacerbated by the poor state of the distribution network, which results in significant electricity losses.

To cope with the long blackouts, service providers and private households have resorted to backup generators, which are unreliable due to their dependence on scarce fuel and spare parts. Private mobile generators can be particularly unsafe, environmentally polluting, and are not affordable by the poorest.

4. Medical services, including life-saving interventions, are at risk of collapse due to the exhaustion of the fuel reserves used to operate back-up generators. Constant fluctuations in power supply have resulted in the malfunctioning of sensitive medical equipment, including ultrasound, X-ray, laboratory machines, cardiac monitors, sterilizing machines and infants’ incubators. To prioritize emergency surgery, hospitals have had to postpone some elective surgery, which, even if not life-threatening, can have a range of negative ramifications on the affected patients.

5.The insufficient supply of electricity and fuel to operate water pumps and wells has caused a further reduction in the availability of running water in most households. This has increased people’s reliance on private, uncontrolled water suppliers and lowered hygiene standards. Wastewater plants have also shortened treatment cycles, thus increasing the pollution level of partially treated sewage discharged into the sea. There is a constant risk of back-flow of sewage onto streets.

The fuel shortages and related rise in fuel prices have further undermined agricultural livelihoodsFishermen and farmers depend on fuel to run vehicles and fishing boats as well as other essential equipment for land irrigation and poultry farms. Compounded with insufficient rainfall, the fuel shortages are likely to push food prices, especially fresh vegetables, further up, thus increasing food insecurity.

A number of long and medium-term options to address Gaza’s electricity deficit are currently under consideration, but are on hold due to political reasons. Those include operating the GPP with gas from the gas fields under the Gaza sea, or the purchase of an additional 100MW/day of electricity from Israel. In the short term, however, to mitigate the humanitarian impact of the currentcrisis, the relevant authorities need to ensure that GPP is supplied with enough fuel to operate at full capacity.

The Gaza Strip is supplied with electricity from three sources: purchases from Israel (120 megawatts, MW) and from Egypt (28 MW), and production by the Gaza Power Plant (GPP) (currently 60 MW). This supply meets approximately 46% of the estimated demand.

● Due to severe shortages of fuel, since July 2013, the GPP has been operating at approximately half of its capacity of 120 MW, triggering an average of rolling power outages of up to 12 hours per day. On several occasions, it has been forced to shut down completely, resulting in scheduled blackouts of up to 16 hours a day.

Due to the insufficient and irregular power supply:

● More than 30% of households in Gaza are supplied with running water for 6-8 hours only once every four days (WASH cluster).
● Up to 90 million liters of partially treated sewage are discharged into the Mediterranean Sea every day (WASH cluster).
● By January 2014, over 300 medical machines at hospitals were out of order, including the only MRI machine at Gaza European Hospital, as of (WHO).
● The average waiting time for some types of elective surgery at Gaza’s largest hospital (Shifa) is over a year (WHO).
● Water desalination units have reduced their operation levels by approximately 40% since the beginning of 2014 (WASH cluster).
● At least 140,000 dunums of land planted with fruits and vegetables are at risk of drought due to inability to use 85 percent of the agricultural wells operated with electricity (PARC).

1. The chronic electricity deficit affecting Gaza over the past few years has disrupted the delivery of basic services and undermined already vulnerable livelihoods and living conditions. The situation has further deteriorated since June 2013, following the halt in the smuggling of Egyptian-subsidized fuel used to operate the GPP, via the tunnels.

2. The generating capacity and reliability of the GPP has been significantly impaired over the past eight years by additional factors. These include the destruction of six transformers by an Israeli airstrike in 2006; the restrictions on the import of spare parts, equipment, and fuel in the context of Israel’s blockade; and the dispute between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the de-facto-authorities in Gaza over the funding of GPP operations. The resulting decline has been exacerbated by the poor state of the distribution network, which results in significant electricity losses.

3. To cope with the long blackouts, service providers and private households have resorted to backup generators, which are unreliable due to their dependence on scarce fuel and spare parts. Private mobile generators can be particularly unsafe, environmentally polluting, and are not affordable by the poorest.

4. Medical services, including life-saving interventions, are at risk of collapse due to the exhaustion of the fuel reserves used to operate back-up generators. Constant fluctuations in power supply have resulted in the malfunctioning of sensitive medical equipment, including ultrasound, X-ray, laboratory machines, cardiac monitors, sterilizing machines and infants’ incubators. To prioritize emergency surgery, hospitals have had to postpone some elective surgery, which, even if not life-threatening, can have a range of negative ramifications on the affected patients.

5. The insufficient supply of electricity and fuel to operate water pumps and wells has caused a further reduction in the availability of running water in most households. This has increased people’s reliance on private, uncontrolled water suppliers and lowered hygiene standards. Wastewater plants have also shortened treatment cycles, thus increasing the pollution level of partially treated sewage discharged into the sea. There is a constant risk of back-flow of sewage onto streets.

6. The fuel shortages and related rise in fuel prices have further undermined agricultural livelihoods. Fishermen and farmers depend on fuel to run vehicles and fishing boats as well as other essential equipment for land irrigation and poultry farms. Compounded with insufficient rainfall, the fuel shortages are likely to push food prices, especially fresh vegetables, further up, thus increasing food insecurity.

7. A number of long and medium-term options to address Gaza’s electricity deficit are currently under consideration, but are on hold due to political reasons. Those include operating the GPP with gas from the gas fields under the Gaza sea, or the purchase of an additional 100MW/day of electricity from Israel. In the short term, however, to mitigate the humanitarian impact of the current crisis, the relevant authorities need to ensure that GPP is supplied with enough fuel to operate at full capacity.


Gaza’s only power plant ‘shuts down over lack of fuel’

By Al Arabiya News
March 15, 2014

The only power plant in the besieged Gaza Strip was shut down on Saturday due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after militant rocket attacks, the energy authority said.

“The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing,” said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had ordered on Thursday the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza and the Erez pedestrian crossing “until further security assessments.”

In response, the energy authority cut the plant’s operation from only 12 hours a day to six until the fuel ran out.

The facility, which supplies some 30 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs, has been forced to shut down several times, most recently in December.

The power plant is one of the main sources of electricity for Gaza’s 1.8 million people and without it, daily blackouts of around 12 hours are expected. Electricity is also received directly from Israel and Egypt.

Gaza lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade meant to cut off arms flows but which also curbs imports of fuel and building supplies.

With AFP and Reuters


A few nice things from Gaza

Eva Bartlett introduces Khaled Alashqar and inventive Gazans: “Nice to see good news from habib Gaza. Great article on the inventiveness (yet another invention) from the most besieged people, Palestinians in Gaza”

Desperate Gazans Turn Plastic Into Fuel

By Khaled Alashqar, Inter Press Services
 May 07, 2014

On the roof of a modest house amidst the alleys of Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Sobeh and his sons spent more than 200 days working on a primitive device that converts waste plastic into fuel.

“The idea came when I watched smoke emissions from a fireplace I made in my house,” Sobeh tells IPS. “I thought how to exploit these fumes and vapours. That prompted me to search online to find there were already attempts in America to exploit fumes emitted by burning hay to produce fuel, and this was the start.”

“Fuel in Gaza is extremely expensive and it is not available on a regular basis as a result of the blockade imposed on Gaza,” says Sobeh. “This is precisely what prompted me to look for a way to produce fuel domestically, which finally succeeded. But the project requires substantial financial support for its development.”


Ibrahim Sobeh and his son Mahmud with the device they built for domestic fuel production. Credit: Khaled Alashqar/IPS.

The device exposes plastic waste composed of oil molecules to high temperature in an Oxygen-free airtight box leading to degradation of the constituent particles of plastic into vapours. These are then passed through metal channels where the fumes are cooled. This results in liquid fuel somewhere between gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

“We produce one litre of fuel from 1.5 kg of plastic waste,” son Mahmud Sobeh tells IPS. “Diesel-run electrical and mechanical machines were successfully run on this fuel output. We have sent samples to the laboratories of the Islamic University of Gaza for scientific examination.”

These are desperate measures, and energy expensive in breaking down the plastic. But then Gazans are in a desperate situation.

Gaza_Strip_
The Kissufim crossing was permanently closed in 2005 by the IDF. The Nahul Oz crossing, primary point for the import of fuel to Gaza, was closed permanently by the Israeli security junta in 2010. The Karni crossing, used primarily for food imports, was closed by the Israelis in 2011. The Sufa crossing has been intermittently opened according to assessments by the Israeli security junta. The Kerem Shalom crossing is opened on (rare) occasions of international attention. The Rafah crossing with Egypt has been partially, occasionally, been opened by the Egyptian government under General al-Sisi. In other words, the access of the people of Gaza to food and fuel is entirely dependent on foreign military men, who are in no jot moved by humanitarian concerns, let alone human rights laws.

The fuel crisis in Gaza has been ongoing for eight years now as Israel controls the amount of fuel entering Gaza through the Abu Salim crossing between Gaza and Israel. Gaza’s only power plant also runs on scarce diesel. Blackouts that last hours are a daily feature.


Israel fuel deliveries to Gaza to resume

Ministry says diesel to be delivered after lack of fuel forced closure of Palestinian enclave’s only power plant.

Al Jazeera,
March 16, 2014

Israel is to allow the resumption of diesel deliveries into Gaza, a day after the territory’s sole power plant stopped working due to a lack of fuel, officials have said.

The announcement on Sunday came after the Defence Ministry had shut down the Kerem Shalom goods crossing into southern Gaza on Thursday following cross-border fire.

The latest violence started after Israel killed three men associated with the Islamic Jihad armed group. Palestinian fighters then fired scores of rockets over the border, although no one was injured.

Israel hit back with air strikes, which also caused no injuries, halting all deliveries, including fuel. The power station halted operation on Saturday.


Providing coffee in the dark: Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, March 15, 2014. The Gaza Strip’s sole power station stopped generating electricity on Saturday, causing blackouts throughout the territory after it ran out of fuel, officials said. Photo by Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters.

The Israeli government on Saturday denied it was cutting off fuel supplies, and said the source of the shortage was an internal conflict between the Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Gaza power dwindles after crossing closes
The fuel deliveries were to resume on Sunday following an order from the Defence Ministry, a statement from COGAT, the unit responsible for crossings into Gaza, said.

“Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.. instructed to open the Kerem Shalom crossing for the transition of gas into the Gaza Strip,” it said.

“The amount coordinated for today… is 500,000 litres of diesel and gasoline for the private sector, 160,000 tonnes of cooking gas, and 200,000 litres of diesel for the operation of the power plant in Gaza,” it said.

Rafik Maliha, director of Gaza’s only power plant, told Al Jazeera that whatever fuel is expected to come only covers the “bare minimum.”

“When this power plant is in complete shutdown that means there is only six hours of electricity supply for the consumers of Gaza,” Maliha said.

“[Now] we will have partial operation of the power plant [which will] make the schedule to eight hours of power supply instead of six.”

Daily blackouts

The power plant, which supplies about 30 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs, stopped operating for 50 days in the latter part of 2013 due to lack of fuel, but resumed operations in late December.

Israel routinely closes the crossing in response to rocket fire or other violence in and around Gaza.

Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Dekker, reporting from Gaza, said that the power fuel shortages are contributing to an “already incredibly difficult” situation as Gaza faces one of the worst economic woes in recent years.

“Prices have risen, many employees of the Hamas government are not getting their salaries [or only] partially, people will tell you that it is the hardest time in a long time and Hamas is said to be facing the most difficult financial crisis in years,” she said.

The fuel is purchased from Israel by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority which also facilitates delivery because the territory’s Hamas rulers do not recognise Israel and do not have any direct dealings with its officials.

Gaza residents have endured hours of daily blackouts in recent years because of fuel shortages.

Although Israeli forces withdrew from Gaza in 2005, they have maintained a blockade on the territory.

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