Written by and posted on behalf of Robert Inlakesh, a political rapper and human rights activist.

Situation

Gaza’s population of 2 million, illegally besieged by the state of Israel, are now facing complete darkness. The Israel electrical authority have been threatening Hamas for some time now with shutting down Gaza’s power, due to its “failure to pay its electrical bill” and now internal politics between Hamas and the PA see a battle that has only hurt the people of Gaza and moved neither party in a positive direction.

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Threats thrown towards Mahmoud Abbas have come firing from Hamas officials, whilst the PNA (Palestinian National Authority, or ‘PA’ for short) have made their claims that Hamas are responsible for the crisis. No party is seeming to take the responsibility and now Gaza will face a crisis that (as many times before) will leave them in the darkness.

Since last year the humanitarian crisis in Gaza has been taken to another level, in 2016 some Palestinian households within the territory would gather almost 8-12 hours of electricity. However, due to the conditions imposed via the Israeli apartheid regime, Gaza has been launched into the next level of depravity which is seeing Palestinians in Gaza being forced to deal with 3 hours of electricity per day. Even worse, it is still a source of power that Gazans do not even know when will be turned on and off.

Blackouts started earlier this year back on 3 January 2017, resulting in mass protests in locations such as Jabaliya (Northern Gaza). Life was becoming unbearable to an extent that supersedes the standard inhumane conditions of Gaza and people became restless.

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In response to these demonstrations, an increase in electricity was achieved with Turkey pledging to send 15,000 tons of fuel and a deal being struck between Qatar and Hamas. Qatar pledged a total of 12 million USD in fuel which was stretched out over 3 months, however now Gaza have depleted these donations and are in dire need of help which has not yet come from these two countries which nonetheless continue funnelling money to Islamist militias that terrorize the population of Syria.

As of late Hamas have been stressing to the PA that its taxes are too high to pay and are resulting in difficulties within the Gaza strip. Thus Hamas, who is in control of the power plant, ended up buying less fuel. Then in what is the perceived reaction from the PA to Hamas’s inability to pay, wages of its Gazan employees were cut by 30 to 70 percent, which in turn is sending some Palestinian families below the poverty line.

So in all of this, Israel has lashed out for not being payed, the PA are erasing the wages of their employees in Gaza, they are in debt to Israel, Hamas will not pay what the PA calls their fair share of the taxes and now Gaza has lost its power. The people suffer.

The electrical infrastructure of Gaza

Gaza has one power plant which is fractionally operational, it also has six Israeli electrical lines that run into the strip as well as two more lines from Egypt that are currently running into operational problems regularly and do not meet Gaza’s needs. Even if all three methods worked, Gaza still would not have sufficient power for its population.

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The two million Palestinians in the Gaza strip require 550-600 megawatts (MW) of electricity per day but receive only a fraction of this. This means from basic life around the house (ie. having light to study, power for refrigeration and recharging mobile phones) to hospitals being able to operate properly, all becomes immensely difficult due to the lack of power.

Hamas the elected government of Gaza as of 2006, do not recognize Israel and do not do deals with them, therefore the deals for gasoline to fuel the power plant are done via the PA who buy it primarily off of two Israeli companies – Paz and BAZAN. Then, the power plant authorities (under Hamas) pay for the gasoline in order to operate.

The one and only ‘Gaza power plant’, built in 2002 is powered by diesel gas (as natural gas has never been made available), it was manufactured to produce 140MW, but due to repeated IDF aerial attacks is now operating at roughly half of its original rate. Furthermore, Israel through its protracted siege of the territory has prohibited the import of the materials that are needed to repair the plant properly.

As of 2013 the plant runs off of diesel fuel imported from Israel, as Egypt cut off its tunnels to al-Arish which, in the past, also provided a means of getting fuel into Gaza.

Israel’s trading of oil and electricity with Gaza should not be mistaken as generosity or relief. Israel engages in such transactions on very pragmatic grounds. First, Israel makes money selling gasoline to the PA and also gains a mechanism of financial control over it via debt; it is a good bargaining tool and the prices Israel charge are extremely high for Palestinians. Second, ever since the Oslo Accords Israel has de facto control of Gaza’s external boarders and international treaties and agreements.

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Consequences

With the electricity cut, we can expect to see problems with the operation of hospitals, schools, general household appliances and universities. Anything without a separate generator will simply cease to function. However, a major infrastructure in Gaza which will be undermined, is its ability to pump its sewerage.

In the past there were other ways of dealing with waste sanitation but due to the ten year siege and repeated bombings of critical infrastructures, Gaza’s only single method of ridding itself of sewerage is pumping the waste into the sea. This unfortunately also comes to fail with the lack of electricity and results in waste flooding into the streets; inevitably this leads to health problems for the civilians, which we may very well see in the coming days.

Overall, conditions continue to worsen within Gaza and in this parade of political power play, humanitarian crises and social disenfranchisement, the last people to be accounted for are the innocent people of Gaza.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Hamas : “OK, you’re dirty Zionists, we’ll push all the Jews into the sea and kill you all and we shoot rockets into Israeli territory all day long but… give us electricity… for free!”
    😆

    “illegally besieged”
    => Wrong! Gaza has a border with Egypt and, except Hamas members that are wanted, there are checkpoints to get into Israel as many Gazeans have their jobs here but well, you’re not allowed to cross with an AK-47 or a RPG-7.

    “a deal being struck between Qatar and Hamas”
    => Mashall (Hamas leader) lives a nice lavish life in… Qatar 😆

    “help which has not yet come from these two countries which nonetheless continue funnelling money to Islamist militias that terrorize the population of Syria.”
    => It’s clear Hamas would consider it better if they funnelled money to an Islamist militia that terrorises the population of Gaza and SW Israel 😆

    “So in all of this, Israel has lashed out for not being payed, the PA are erasing the wages of their employees in Gaza, they are in debt to Israel, Hamas will not pay what the PA calls their fair share of the taxes and now Gaza has lost its power”
    => Just take a look at Abbas and Mashall personal wealth and have a laugh 😉

    “Hamas the elected government of Gaza as of 2006, do not recognize Israel and do not do deals with them”
    => Insa!

    “The one and only ‘Gaza power plant’, built in 2002 is powered by diesel gas (as natural gas has never been made available), it was manufactured to produce 140MW, but due to repeated IDF aerial attacks is now operating at roughly half of its original rate. Furthermore, Israel through its protracted siege of the territory has prohibited the import of the materials that are needed to repair the plant properly.”
    => Had Hamas considered stopping shooting rockets, stopping wanting to kill every Israeli, well, maybe the plant would be fully working 😆 They’re actually lucky they face Bibi : with such an attitude and a leader like me, I’d have cut electricity and not only this for years 😆

    “Israel engages in such transactions on very pragmatic grounds. First, Israel makes money selling gasoline to the PA and also gains a mechanism of financial control over it via debt; it is a good bargaining tool and the prices Israel charge are extremely high for Palestinians”
    => It’s the great differences between Jews and us : they’ll make money from their enemies while we prefer not to make money and finish ’em once and for good.

    “Second, ever since the Oslo Accords Israel has de facto control of Gaza’s external boarders and international treaties and agreements.”
    => Oslo agreements were terminated by Aratfat when he launched 2nd intifada. PA/PLO calls to knife intifada now, well, as no land treaty has been signed, the Israeli trend is more and more to stick to the only one having value under international law, the 1922 San Remo treaty. Exchanging land for peace with Palestinian leaders was both a failure and error, PLO did this as a taqiyya considering that having a foot in Israel would help them to destroy the Jewish state from the inside. The artificially created Palestinian people being used as cannon-fodder, hostages and human shields in a forged-victim role to try to charge Israelis as oppressors while both people are victims of this gang, BTW, Aratfat wasn’t even a Palestinian but an Egyptian

    “Overall, conditions continue to worsen within Gaza and in this parade of political power play, humanitarian crises and social disenfranchisement, the last people to be accounted for are the innocent people of Gaza.”
    => Why do you think that I always point that Jew hatred must cease?
    Anyway, anyone doing serious search will only state that the goal of PLO and its Arab-League backers was not to create a state for the mostly artificial ‘Palestinian’ people (the word Palestine is the romanisation of Hebrew word Peleshet which means ‘invader’, LOL!).

    “First Israel, then, the world”-Hamas minister
    => Then Israel answers : “Fuck Hamas” and the world is right to approve. I think the problem with all these shitty Islamists is that OBL believed he destroyed USSR and then could do the same with USA or other countries while USSR collapsed mostly due to its military-industrial complex that went too far.
    Note the typical speech you have from Hamas
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKw1FinX9W4
    This guy is a “globally designated terrorist”, guess why…

    Hamas leader Mashall ridicules himself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tsT7qToIH0

    “due to the conditions imposed via the Israeli apartheid regime”
    => Hamas interior minister, Fathi Hamad, Tells the Egyptian television the truth: Half of Palestinians came from Egypt and the other half from Saudi Arabia:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwBSWN4s9JU
    “al-Aqsa and the land of Palestine represent the spearhead for Islam and for the Muslims…/… When we seek their help (of our Arab brothers) it is in order to continue to wage jihad”-Fathi Hamad
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZtiUdl9Cd0
    Apartheid would mean that Arab-Israelis would not have the same rights other Israelis have. This is not the case at all. Fathi Hamad says nothing else than “we are aliens and we’re here to destroy Israel first then wage jihad everywhere, we’re the ‘spearhead’ of jihad.
    Note : he can’t even pronounce the “P” in ‘Palestinian’ as there iis no “P” in Arab. This only proves the bias that this people was invented and not even by Arabs, actually, it was a KGB/general Giap idea suggested to Arafat when, at this time, he tricked them into believing he was a socialist freedom fighter when, actually, he was a Muslim Brotherhood member acting taqiyya style to get help for his jihad.

    Well, wait a little and Gazeans will simply lynch Hamas and reclaim peace with Israel. If not? Insa!
    The other solution would be i.e. Egypt accepting a “Palestinian” state i.e. on the totally underpopulated western Sinaï coast, maybe giving some mountain area too. The Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa and the mosques plaza could even be moved on some hill the height of the Temple Mount, important Arab landmarks could be moved too, desalination plants can be built, quality housing can be built for cheap using alternative architecture techniques like Earthships, now Chinese solar panels are cheaper than dirt, energy could be purveyed this way, now as the Suez gulf has wonderful diving spots, that weather is warm etc, create a bunch of tourist traps, have a bridge over the Tiran strait to help Saudis come into Sinai, now, open casinos, legalise drugs, alcohol and prostitution, beach nudity etc in the ‘Palestinian’ state and tourists and money will flow, especially from the Saudis as KSA is no fun. The only thing : no casino in Sharm el-Sheikh, it’ll still Egyptian.
    Now, we can be sure Israelis will be OK to help, no need refugee camps, UNRWA can be dissolved and money really used for state building, terrace agriculture can be made on the mountains.
    Dahab, Sinai peninsula :
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8c/Dahab_View_from_dive_shop.JPG
    Now, considering WB+Gaza = 6020km², another option could be giving them let’s say a 12000km² area along the Saudi coast or maybe across the Egypt/Sudan borders, just under Halayeb. Compensations can be given to states, displaced locals etc etc

    Let’s be clear : it’s the more convenient way to solve the problems : Israel will NEVER let PLO/Hamas to destroy them. NO Arab state has accepted to integrate ‘Palestinian’ refugees after 1948 in order to use them as a weapon, resulting as the shit we see today, there would anyway not be enough room for the grand-grand children of the 600k 1948 Palestinian refugees in WB/Gaza, not counting the huge numbers of Egyptians and Saudis etc that were packed, not to say parked, there in order to outnumber Israelis, Abbas had the choice between a Hamas backed govt and peace with Israel, he chose knife intifada, situation is TARFU (totally and royally all fucked up), what we see there in Gaza is just the beginning of the definitive collapse of the already failed for a while ‘Palestinian’ state and it will be more and more unsustainable and frankly, anyone with brain can only understood that the 69 year old project to fuck up Israel is definitively a failure and that too much hatred has been -artificially and on purpose- created to be sure that it’s not a good idea to keep the two peoples as neighbour, anyway, due to demographic and security concerns, it’s unfeasible to not consider IDF and settlements in the WB and letting morons shoot rockets every day from Gaza.
    In other terms, separation is the only clever way to act and give’em their al-Aqsa etc etc following them and let’s stop all these useless suffering.

    • Shit on the 1922 San Remo treaty. Wilson promised self governance and democracy. Where was that for Arabs and Jews in Palestine in 1918-47?
      But Wilson’s promises were a mere war propaganda lie.

      The Entente created this problem. Let France and Britain pay the bill.

      p.s. UNRWA must stop feeding the problem. The Muslim states that evicted the Arab Jews after 1947 must accept and resettle the Palestinians.

  2. There is no evidence that Israel “delights” in Gazan suffering. Jewish businessmen personally donated millions of dollars to buy and donate a huge very state-of-the-art greenhouse facility to the Gazans. It grew vegetables and flowers, food for the Gazans, produce for export that brought in much needed hard currency, and it provided employment to a lot of Gazans. After Israel withdrew from Gaza, and handed over that greenhouse facility, it took less than one week for the Gazans to destroy it. They’d rather not have the food, the jobs or the money simply because it came from Jews. That’s the problem. If Hamas stopped spending almost all the millions in donations and support they get on tunnels and rockets, and built infrastructure, they wouldn’t be in this kind of crisis. I don’t mention the vast sums that Hamas siphon off in their corruption and theft of money donated to help Gazans. Hamas executives do not live in squalor or hardship. As for Hamas relations with the PA, well Hamas may by now have stopped throwing PA supporters off rooftops. But the memory of such atrocities linger. The real tragedy for the Palestinian people is that the leaders know how to create peace and prosperity. Egypt has now offered Sinai to the Palestinians in return for Westbank land. It would be contiguous to Gaza, and have more land than Israel. It would also involve Palestinian statehood. All the Palestinians have to do is to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and agree to a peace treaty with Israel. Egypt has a peace treaty with Israel, and it got the Sinai as part of that deal. Jordan has a peace treaty with Israel. Why not the Palestinians? Because they hate Jews so much that they’d rather destroy themselves than get along with Jews. It’s the old greenhouse project all over again. Obsession with hatred of Jews, to the point of self destruction. As for Abbas, he’d make a deal, but he’s afraid that a Gazan would assassinate him as Anwar Sadat was assassinated. Hence the Gazan misery.

  3. No one in the world gets electricity for free. Gaza is sent a ton of money from well wishers abroad, both privately and publicly from other countries. If they would use I for these basic necessities there wouldn’t be a problem. They want electricity from Israel but don’t want to pay for it? They are not being charged more than Arab and Jewish cities in Israel are charged.
    I moved to Israel last year and have not heard one Arab or Jew ever express happiness at anyone else’s hardships – including Palestinians troubles.
    However there is this sentiment: Israel rose out of the ashes without much help from the rest of the world to be a functioning state. If the leadership in Gaza cared about their citizens and not other politics, they would use the money the world gives them to build hospitals, schools, etc. No one including Israel is stopping them. If we could do it surrounded by all Arab states wishing our demise, you can too!
    Stand on your own 2 feet and stop blaming Israel for all your troubles. You wanted freedom. You wanted your own state and elections. You wanted Israel out. That’s what you got in Gaza. Concentrate on helping yourself instead if trying to build tunnels to keep hurting others and you will be successful.
    No one wishes you ill and no one is stopping you but yourself.
    I wish you success.