Sunday, 9 August 2015

One year after shelling Gaza’s hospitals, Israel starves them of power


From the Electronic Intifada - Nabeel Muhammad’s job would be demanding under any circumstances. He is a nurse working with seriously ill patients. The difficulties that he faces have been multiplied by a power crisis in the Gaza Strip.

“The machines in the intensive care units do not work without electricity,” he explained. Incubators for premature babies in al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza, where he is based, have even been affected.

The problems besetting this hospital illustrate how it has been under constant attack by one means or another for many years. In July 2014, it was shelled during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day bombardment of Gaza. The power cuts that imperil the provision of basic services across Gaza have occurred repeatedly since Israel bombed the Strip’s only power plant in 2006.

Zauhdia Attia — also known as Um Waleed — receives treatment for a kidney complaint at the same hospital. The 56-year-old is supposed to undergo dialysis four or five times a week, she said.

“The number of machines in the hospital is few,” she added. “And during a power cut only one or two machines can be operated for more than 100 patients — using a small generator on our ward.”

The crisis has been especially acute since Egypt closed tunnels between it and Gaza in 2013. Those tunnels were used to smuggle fuel on which the people of Gaza depended. more

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