words from Gaza, suffering under sealed borders, manufactured poverty, power outages, fuel shortages

Omar Ghraieb:

#Gaza students losing visas and scholarships everyday bcoz of #Rafah border closure. Its closed more than its opened & when its opened only a few manage to pass. Students are also trapped outside, they cant return back home. I personally know friends who are stuck inside and outside. Rafah border has always been a crisis & hellish whether closed or opened but the crisis blooms when its closed. Now we r living a double siege. As if #Israel wasnt doing enough. #Egypt gov. & Egy media suck, both going after Gaza every now & then blaming it for everything but I still love Egyptians because they are not like their gov. or media.

September 9:

#Egypt closed Rafah border today after letting ONLY 1 damn bus pass and sent all the rest back! Damn it! Doubling the damn siege! #Gaza 

Photo: #Egypt closed Rafah border today after letting ONLY 1 damn bus pass and sent all the rest back! Damn it! Doubling the damn siege! #Gaza

September 9:

Endless rows and rows of cars parking in lines infront of a petroleum station in #Gaza hoping to manage to fill their cars or their power generators as the fuel crisis blooms! Sigh.  been going on for days now

Photo: Endless rows and rows of cars parking in lines infront of a petroleum station in #Gaza hoping to manage to fill their cars or their power generators as the fuel crisis blooms! Sigh

September 8:

Way over 100+ NGOs & INGOs in #Gaza but for what?! NOTHING. NADA. All doing the same duplicated mediocre work. Funding the same useless baseless projects that they collect millions for, but what effect do those projects have? MINOR! In a little space cramped by nearly 2 million people, we have more I\NGOs probably than private companies. U will hear names of Humanitarian orgs that probably dont exist elsewhere. All the “humanitarian” orgs but no serious work done for autistic children and all of them have “psycho social programs” but NONE provide REAL psychological aid or programs and son and so on. What is the use of having clusters and meetings when no real work or improvement is done or achieved? SOME” foreigners come here and work in these I\NGOs, take sh*t loads of money, vacate in Tel Aviv and then go back home a little richer and what did Gaza gain? NOTHING. Oh dont even let me talk about their employment system! Its corrupted, dated and THE SAME! Its sickening and I cant take it anymore. I no longer ask whats wrong in this country, wrong is the general theme, I rather ask whats right? because right is minimal here! Sigh. #Gaza #Palestine #NGO

September 6:

No fuel in #Gaza which kills transportation & paralyzes life! More darkness to b cursed, no more generators, just emptiness all around!

September 5:

A few minutes away 4m spending a looooooong night of pure darkness here in Gaza with no power and no fuel for the generators, but the sun will shine tomorrow and hopefully the power will return tomorrow also even though energy authority declared that #Gaza‘s only power plant will shut down completely soon! Take care peeps everywhere 

September 5:

U dont need an international report to know that, just ask me and I will tell U! I agree with everything that the article mentioned! I just disliked how they made it sound like the Egyptian “coup” was behind all that! Its not so accurate. Many things, reasons and directions are behind the situation here.

International report says collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage

September 5:

#Gaza Gaza Gaza! There we go again. We went from shortage of fuel to no fuel at all which paralyzes Gaza and life here. Fuel shortage kills transportation and with the high increase in power outages, fuel cant fight darkness anymore so now NO more generators, as much as the calmness will be appreciated, the darkness will b cursed. Rafah border is hellish, its impossible to get out since U need weeks to manage to book a turn to leave if U have a very strong reason (if U do, its not guaranteed)! U might go there and be told to head back for any or no reason. Prices are going high. Businesses are dwindling & the economy is seriously on its last breath, if not dead already. Shortage in water and soon shortage in food and merchandise. Where r we heading? and till when will this go on? I dont know. We r used to dark periods here and as much as adapting fast pisses me off and kills me, it will actually help us pull thru this time. As usual, Gaza gets collective punishment and Plz dont insult ur intelligence by blaming a certain direction, many directions stand behind this downfall, including us, those who live here. Even the air we breathe is becoming thicker. I dont think I have enough energy to want to stay here anymore, leaving doesnt sound bad anymore! Just saying.

Jenny Graham

Gaza electricity in serious trouble tonight! Power on and off every 10 minutes, For the first time that I remember, even Gaza port is in complete darkness!!!


A lot of activity at Gaza port this evening. Earlier today we watched the Israeli patrol boats well inside 3 mile….This evening the IOF boats are already harassing Palestinian fishing boats , A US aircraft carrier is docked at Ashdod and “someone” is using Palestinian airspace above the Port to refuel F16’s!!!!………


Who gives the right to any country to inflict a barbaric, brutal and inhuman rationing of basic human needs and rights on any other people. The brutal Israeli siege, now even worse thanks to the closure by Egyptians of tunnels and the Rafah border is an ongoing destruction of a country and a globally watched killing of a nation. Shame on the so called civilized world who watches, maybe mumbles a little but in effect does nothing. The world should hang its head in shame as your silence and lack of immediate action and condemnation makes each and every one complicit !!!!

Egypt army destroys 6 tunnels along Gaza border | Maan News Agency


Egypt have now announced the Rafah border will again be closed indefinitely…… Power plant here about to run out of fuel, prices of everyday basic foodstuffs increasing, no fuel for cars or fishing boats or generators……….

***The world , with access to 24 hour television channels and world wide internet is still watching but refusing to see!!!!!!!!

As noose tightens………and shows the true brutality of the Israeli siege…


As noose tightens, Palestinians in Gaza face darkest days

“tweets by blogger Omar Ghraieb capture the despair felt by many of Gaza’s almost 1.7 million Palestinian residents as Israel’s blockade, compounded by Egypt’s intensifying crackdown, has brought the territory once more to the brink of catastrophe.Since the 3 July military coup against Egypt’s elected president Muhammad Morsi, the military regime has destroyed almost all the vital underground supply tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.This week, Egypt began demolishing houses along its side of its border with Gaza, a futile and criminal Israeli-style tactic, that is seen as a prelude to establishing a “buffer zone” to further isolate Gaza.As a result of these and other Egyptian measures, supplies of some critical medicines have hit zero, the construction industry has collapsed, and the Rafah crossing, the only entry and exit for most Gazans, is frequently closed.A new report, “Slow Death; The Collective Punishment of Gaza has reached a Critical Stage,” from the human rights monitoring group Euro-Mid Observer, highlights the acute crisis that compounds the effects of the prolonged Israeli blockade.The report is worth reading in full, but these ten facts about the impact of the blockade capture the scale of the mounting catastrophe and underscore the urgent need for pressure on Israel to end it and for Egypt to end its complicity.

  • According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 57 percent of Gaza households are food insecure as of July 2013; however, if the current Israeli and Egyptians measures remain as they are, 65 percent of Gaza households will be food insecure (World Food Program estimate, June 2010).
  • As of August 2013, more than a third (35.5 percent) of those able and willing to work are unemployed (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics) – one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Economists expect that the continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a sharp increase in the unemployment level (43 percent by the end of 2013 compared with 32 percent in June 2013).
  • The continuous closure of the tunnels will lead to a 3 percent decline in the growth by the end of 2013 compared with 15 percent as of June 2013.
  • The construction sector is working at less than 15 percent of its previous capacity, leading to more than 30,000 losses in job opportunities since July 2013.
  • A longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power outages of up to 12 hours a day (UN OCHA, July 2013).
  • Only a quarter of households receive running water every day, during several hours only.
  • More than 90 percent of the water extracted from the Gaza aquifer is unsafe for human consumption.
  • Some 90 million liters of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea off the Gaza coast each day, creating public health hazards.
  • Over 12,000 people are currently displaced due to their inability to reconstruct their homes, destroyed during hostilities (UNOCHA, July 2013).
  • The economy has endured severe losses worth $460 million in all economic sectors within the past two months (Ministry of Economy- Gaza).


Gaza feels heat from Egyptian border crackdown

“Long queues of cars waiting for hours outside gas stations; frequent power cuts; suspended construction projects; shortages of vital goods and materials…

Long queues of cars waiting for hours outside gas stations; frequent power cuts; suspended construction projects; shortages of vital goods and materials; and a drastic reduction in the number of incoming and outgoing travellers.

This sums up the scene in the Gaza Strip since the Egyptian military overthrew elected President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 and launched a major operation against the tunnels that link the coastal enclave with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

The Egyptian army has launched a major operation against the network of secret border tunnels, which until recently represented Gaza’s prime source of fuel and building materials.

The army’s ongoing demolition campaign is the largest of its kind since the underground passages were dug in 2007 to circumvent Israel’s embargo on the Hamas-run territory.

An official from Gaza’s petroleum committee said that some one million liters of diesel used to enter the coastal enclave every day, bound for the strip’s single power plant and gas stations.

“Now we only receive an average of 400,000 liters a day for both sectors,” the official told AA.

If no solution is found, he expects the current shortage to worsen as Egypt steps up its operations along the border.

A recent report by the UN Humanitarian Affairs Office said that a maximum of ten tunnels were still operational, down from approximately 50 in mid-August.

The report stated that only 20 to 30 truckloads of goods enter Gaza through the tunnels each day, compared to as many as 200 a day before the Egyptian army’s demolition campaign.

Between 2007 and 2010, the tunnels had represented the source of almost all consumer products entering the Gaza Strip, which Israel restricted in a bid to punish and isolate the ruling Hamas movement.

Outside the Rafah border terminal, the main crossing point for Gaza’s roughly 1.7 million residents, tears and desperation fill the air.

Many people have been reporting to the crossing for a week, some for ten days, without getting through.

“The situation is very bad here,” said Maher Abu Sabha, director of crossing points in the Hamas government.

He said that some 6,000 Palestinians were registered to travel, but Egypt had only allowed 300 people to leave Gaza daily since the crossing was reopened last month with new regulations.

According to Abu Sabha, the Egyptians have restricted those eligible to travel to dual nationals, holders of visas and residency permits, and medical patients.”


They have a dream

I feel like I’m stuck in a box, a box that is totally closed. There is nothing I can do about my situation. Everything around me, the political situation and conflict, it is all outside of my control.”This is my friend Abeer Alabyad (26) who spent all day today waiting to cross the Rafah border from Gaza into Egypt. She was on her way to Leeds, where she is enrolled in a master programme which is about to start.At 6.30 this morning she arrived at the border crossing, like many dozens of other Palestinian students from Gaza who are enrolled in foreign universities. They stood in the blazing sunshine and stood in the crowded waiting areas together with many hundreds of people who were on their way to family, hospital or work abroad. “The atmosphere was very tense and because of the stress many conflict and fights broke out between the people who were waiting,” she says.The waiting was to no avail. At noon the border closed. Even though many, like Abeer, waited until 3pm, the Egyptian authorities allowed no one to cross the border today, citing the security situation in the Sinai.She estimates that more than a hundred students are still waiting to travel to their universities abroad. Approximately fifty of them are headed for Turkey. Dozens of others hope to reach the United Kingdom. “The al Fakhoura scholarship for studying in the U.K. has been awarded to 17 students from Gaza, and there are many other applicable scholarship programmes for the U.K., so you can imagine how many students are supposed to be traveling now”.Her program in Leeds will start on the 15th of September, and she is in a hurry to leave Gaza: “If I don’t appear at the university during the first week of the academic year, I will lose my seat in the program, as well as the scholarship that was awarded to me by al Fakhoura foundation.””

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