Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
has the Consultative Status with the United Nations
Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC)
Press Release
Reference: 23/2012
Date: 21 March 2012
Al Mezan Calls on International Community to Intervene and Prevent
a Catastrophe Due to the Power Situation in Gaza
The shortage in electricity and fuel has reached a crisis point in the Gaza Strip. Shortages started to occur in the end of 2011, but have reached a crisis point since 14 February 2012, when the sole Gaza Power Plant had to shut down due to the lack of fuel. This crisis, which was doubled by the lack of fuel in the market, has deepened the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. People as well as organizations have not been able to compensate the shortage in electricity by operating electricity generators, which require fuel to operate. Gaza population are increasingly facing difficulty reaching health, work, and education places. Hospitals have had to seek emergency assistance from the ICRC.
The lack of power and fuel have affected a wide range of basic services, affecting not only the quality of life for the population, but also life itself in certain cases. Medical services have been undermined; including at hospitals, clinics, laboratories and blood banks. It is increasingly challenging to keep samples at labs or to preserve dead bodies. Water supplies to households have also been affected negatively. Sewage treatment is suffering from fuel and power shortages. Residents of the hundreds of high building in Gaza are also facing difficulty; especially the elderly, the sick and the disabled among them. The economic consequences of these shortages have been severe. Numerous industries have had to shut down or increase the cost of their products, which creates more difficulty for the predominantly poor population. There are also difficulties facing preserving food for household use as well as for commerce with fears of poisoning.
Palestinian and international organizations have been facing greater challenges pursuing their work in the Gaza Strip due to this crisis. Relief organizations find it increasingly difficult to distribute food and other relief materials. They are facing the risk of having to halt, or seriously reduce, their services to the population due to the lack of power and fuel, which are needed for transportation and preserving food. Palestinian NGOs are also facing serious difficulty and may soon have to close their offices as there is not enough power and their staff are not able to reach their workplaces.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights is highly alarmed by the deterioration in the living conditions in Gaza, which are well below the acceptable standards without such a crisis. Al Mezan is concerned by the continuous deterioration in the conditions and the lack of possibilities that they would improve soon, which threatens Gaza’s population humanitarian conditions seriously. Al Mezan reaffirms that the responsibility of the life and wellbeing of the population of Gaza, which remains under Israel’s effective control, lies primarily with Israel. Israel has continued its siege of Gaza and kept it on the verge of a humanitarian crisis that has not allowed the local authorities to take any effective measures to diversify the sources of power and fuel or make meaningful contingency plans that are credibly implementable. Al Mezan therefore calls on the international community to take prompt action to alleviate the current crisis in Gaza; including by ensuring an immediate end to Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip.
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For more information, please contact at Al Mezan Center for Human Rights office in Gaza City
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Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights

5/102-1 Al Mena, Omar El-Mukhtar Street,
Western Rimal, Gaza City, The Gaza Strip,
P.O. Box. 5270
Telefax: 00970- 8- 2820447  ,  2820442