Gaza, Alray - When the Egyptian authorities decided to establish the buffer zone on the Egyptian side of the border with the Gaza strip, it meant that it put the life of many Gazans in danger.
Fuel affects generating electricity which supplies most big hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
The Vice Director of Al-Shefa hospital, the biggest health care center in the Gaza Strip, said, "we don't have any reserve of fuel for the hospital generators and so when electricity blacks out, all patients in the ICU, nursery units, kidney failure units and those with chronic chest diseases will die."
Deputy Head of Power Authority Fathi Al-Sheikh Khalil said” the actual need of the Gaza Strip for electricity is about 300 megawatts. 120 megawatts come from the Israeli occupation, and 17 megawatt from Egypt; and the remaining is generated by the Palestinian Electricity Company.”
“In addition to the electricity grid of the Gaza Strip being too old and unable to serve optimally, the Israelis attacked the Palestinian electricity company in mid 2006 to destroy it completely, plunging the Gaza Strip into darkness,” he said.
"But after two stages of maintenance, the company became able to supply only 80 megawatt; and this isn't enough to fulfill the remaining needs of the Strip,” he said.
Furthermore, "the Electricity Company needs 450,000 liters of industrial diesel fuel daily while the Israelis and Egyptians don't allow, of course, more than 315,000 liters which is enough for generating only 55 megawatt," he added.
Execution verdict on patients:
The spokesman for the Health ministry in Gaza Ashraf Al-Qedrah said, "the electricity blackout means an execution verdict on the life of 400 kidney failure patients, 450 patients of cancer, 400 heart diseases patients, 50 premature children and a big number of the chronic chest disease patients."
The shortage of electricity doesn't only affect the health of patients, but also affects the general health situation of Gazans as the pumping of drinking water to houses stops, and the pumping of sanitation waste out of houses stops as well.
The head of the Association of Petroleum Companies in Gaza, said, "Gaza needs 250,000 liters of diesel for cars and motors, in addition to 450,000 liters for the Electricity Company. It also needs 50,000 liters of gasoline. However, after destroying the tunnels the Egyptians allow zero liters of fuel to enter the coastal enclave at this time."
Old electricity grid worn out:
The worn-out electricity grid needs constant repairs because of old age as well as Israeli attacks.
In addition to the Gazan electricity grid being too old, the Israelis keep destroying the main transformers under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Also, the overloading use of electricity weakens the grid's infrastructure, causing further loss in the transmitted electricity.
And what exhausts the grid even more is the continuous switching on and off of the electrical current to divide the available portion among the different suburbs of Gaza. "This ruins the transformers, the branch fuses, and many wires as they have to load more than their power," Al-Sheikh Khalil said.
The fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip have stopped completely. The Palestinian Power Authority even has its own fuel reserves which are enough for a few days, according to Al-Sheikh Khalil.