‘I don’t remember the last time I saw electricity,’ Gaza Hospitals, shelters cut back on services


GAZA – As Gaza runs out of fuel to power its generators, hospitals in the besieged Palestinian enclave fear they would have to turn away patients and unplug lifesaving machines.

The Wall Street Journal reported that shelters housing tens of thousands of families were switching off the lights. Bakeries were reportedly shutting down.

“The situation is getting worse day by day, hour by hour. I do not remember the last time I saw electricity,” said Mohammad Aburayya, a 47-year-old doctor, who has been sheltering with his family at a United Nations facility for nearly two weeks.

On Thursday, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said fuel was urgently needed to maintain vital humanitarian operations.

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“Current stocks are almost completely exhausted, forcing lifesaving services to come to a halt. This includes the supply of piped water as well as fuel for the health sector, bakeries, and generators,” it said in a report.

Israel cut off all supplies of food, water, fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip in response to the October 7, 2023 attacks by militant group Hamas that killed 1,400 Israelis.

It allowed the delivery of small amounts of humanitarian aid to Gaza starting last Saturday but Israel has opposed the delivery of fuel to Gaza out of concerns that Hamas would use it for military purposes.

A spokesman for the Israeli military said that the thousands of rockets Hamas is firing at Israel show that Gaza has plenty of fuel.

He also pointed to a now-deleted post on social-media platform X by the U.N. agency that it had received reports of people purporting to be from the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza taking fuel from the agency’s compound in Gaza City.

The agency later said that no such looting took place.

Beshara Shahada, a 61-year-old owner of the Families Bakeries Company in the Rimal neighbourhood in central Gaza, closed his bakery on Tuesday after running out of diesel for his oven.

After standing in a line that stretched for several blocks, people left hungry and empty-handed.

“We are waiting for the government or any aid agency to send us fuel, but there’s nothing we can do,” he said.

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