Mohammed Salem, Reuters
The Palestinians of Gaza continue to suffer silently. Not only:
-12-18 hour power outages (depending on where in the Strip they live)
-critical shortages of medicines (40% of essential drugs): “We’re not talking here about luxury medications — and by luxury I mean medications that will treat conditions that will kill you in five years or ten years. We’re talking about essential medication.
We’re using medications that my colleagues in Canada have only used if they’ve been in practice since the ’60s. So yes, we have a deep and desperate shortage there. The shortages of medications, the shortages of supplies — especially what we would call “consumables.”
I rarely have the sutures that I want available for the patients when I need them. I rarely have the correct-sized chest tubes. Sutures are how you sew people up together, chest tubes are the things that you put into peoples’ chests when they’ve been shot in the chest or when they’re bleeding in the chest or when there’s water, air in the chest for other reasons.“
-“88 Kidney dialysis devices will stop working [endangering 500 dialysis patients], 45 rooms equipped for urgent cases will close, the ICU in the main hospital of Gaza will close, and five blood banks and tens of medical labs will also close. In addition, three mass refrigerators for keeping children’s vaccines and 113 nurseries will close, as will refrigerators for sensitive drugs and x-ray centres. In fact, all service departments are under the threat of closure.”[Nov 7, 2013]
-a shortage of cooking gas (the main means of cooking) and fuel (which combined with power outages render hospitals extremely vulnerable, as fuel is necessary for the back-up generators, which themselves are not meant to run for 8, 10, 12 hour stretches… think life support machinery and prenatal wards, and even simple hygienic laundry work).
-soaring unemployment and manufactured poverty
-the Zionist army shooting at Palestinian farmers and fishers
-random Zionist army bombings
-constant drone presence, constant presence of Zionist warplanes, tanks, and warships
-a ban on construction materials, (meaning the 10,000 … and the 70,000 dependent on the construction sector for their livelihoods, as well as 18 UN projects on education, health, water, and electricity now at risk.
-95% of water in Gaza is not drinkable
…Any one of these factors, prolonged, would make life in, say, Canada unbearable. But all of these factors… and more?
But the latest insult and danger is the overflowing sewage flooding the streets. Completely and utterly preventable, were Palestinians allowed to maintain their sewage holding pools, expand them, maintain the lines, treat the sewage. Instead, its pumped into the sea at a rate of 90 million litres a day, and in this case is overflowing into the streets of Gaza. In 2007, Umm Nasr, a village in northern Gaza was flooded by sewage overflow, killing 5 people.
**notice the LOVE so evident between friends and siblings, the laughter and pride, despite despicable circumstances.
see also: Gaza power outages cause environmental crisis
Frustratingly, these are not new circumstances:
Israeli Siege on Gaza Causes Waste Crisis
notes on Palestine’s preventable water and food crises
Gaza out of the spotlight…and out of power, gasoline, and cooking gas for that matter
fish hiya: no life
Israel’s threat to cut Gaza water supply would be “complete catastrophe”
Attack on Water Brings Sanitation Crisis
lucky to have water