Government Media Office (GMO) has released a new report on the siege impacts on several sectors in the Gaza Strip. Ministries of Health, Economy, Youth, Local Government, Agricultrue have briefed the GMO on the latest:
Blackouts herald a difficult phase of siege impacting the humanitarian situation, and health and environmental sectors.
Power plant shutdown would result in overwhelming and unprecedented environmental and health problems in the event that sewage pumps stop functioning. It would also significantly contribute to increasing road accidents due to darkness.
Power cuts that occur for up to 18 hours a day will directly affect patients in public hospitals and health centers, particularly the emergency departments, intensive care units, operating rooms, incubators, and dialysis machines, laboratories, and radiology rooms, blood banks, and vaccine refrigerators.
The local medical staff’s concern over meeting their moral and functional duties to provide for the sick citizens of the Gaza Strip would further increase.
Running generators for long hours weakens their productive power-generating capacity what may cause sensitive medical appliances to frequent malfunctions, as well double the consumption of fuel filters, gas oil, and spare parts.
Environmental Sector :
The ill-functioned sewage water which has been pumped into the sea untreated shall create a health hazard with the potential to threaten the surrounding natural environment and increase the likelihood of spreading of serious and infectious diseases.
Minister of Local Government Mohammed al-Farra warned of the unexpected suspension of the power plant operation, and the subsequent clean water and sanitation unavailability which would “put the Gaza Strip on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,”
The discontinued flow of fuel would fully disrupt the operation of water desalination facilities and thus result in poor sanitation.
Agricultural Sector :
Ministry of Agriculture said the cooking gas shortage in the Gaza Strip directly affect poultry.
The decrease in the volumes of the gas pumped to the Gaza Strip affected adversely the poultry sector, which needs about 300 tons of gas per month for heating Broiler and breeder chickens’s and young turkey’s houses.
According to Ministry of Economy, the closure of the Israel-controlled Karam Abu Salem crossing resulted in a scarcity of raw and basic materials needed for factories.
As a number of factories in the Gaza Strip failed to operate due to the shortage of fuel and material items, the unemployment and poverty rates have risen having 33.000 workers been already laid off.
Other Sectors :
Ministry of Youth and Sport said the reconstruction of Palestine Football Stadium, completely destroyed during Israel’s November 2012 war on Gaza, is of the vital development projects announced by the ministry and has been postponed for lack of construction materials.
Closing the crossings had youth delegations exchange during the first half of 2013 at zero, and led to cancelling many events.
Rafah Crossing :
Director of Border Crossings Maher Abu Sabha said the Egyptian side began to identify categories of travelers (holders of foreign passports and residence permits, patients, students) to distribute each to certain days.
Karam Abu Salem Crossing :
A few truckloads of goods and food aid, very limited quantities of gasoline, cooking gas, and of diesel fuel are allowed access.
The fuel derivatives allowed on a daily basis are very limited and do not meet the minimum needs of the Gaza Strip.
Karam Abu Salem crossing is only commercial through which basic-life goods and items have been officially entered to the Gaza Strip since Israel imposed a tightening blockade on the enclave in 2007.
The Israeli occupation authorities close Karam Abu Salem crossing routinely each week on Friday and Saturday, in addition to other occasional closures over the year.