Sunday, January 20, 2008


1:57 minutes we have left before the power is shut off in all of Gaza. Most of the power lines from Gaza’s main electricity station have already run dry, two lines remain.

Dr Attallah pointed out that the siege on Iraq lasted two years and then they attacked it. Maybe tonight its Gaza’s turn?

People are panicking and buying up what is left to buy. In less than two hours we wait in the dark to see what is to come.

Two nights ago I spent at Jamal’s place in Beit Lahya refugee camp. It was freezing. Jamal and I got there at 10:30pm knowing that electricity had been out all evening and that it would return some time then. We found his wife Salwa and Maysa, Haitham, Majid and 2 year old Abdullah huddled around a fire. Maysa said they had been there since 5pm. We joined them until Salwa prepared us dinner at which point we moved in doors and used their electric pot, which they use to bake bread turned upside down as a makeshift heater.

Tonight they won’t have the heater and Gaza is out of wood for their fire.


Anonymous said...

Israel is still supplying electricity to Gaza, which is about 70% of the normal supply, no? So why is there a total blackout, why not rotate so that each area has a blackout for one hour of every three or something similar? Or create an emergency rations plan, ex. no using computers, appliances, or lights, but cooking and heating are OK. Would that not work?

Either way, I hope terrorists agree to stop attacking innocent Israeli civilians soon so that all the people in Gaza who have nothing to do with the attacks can get their lights and heaters back on.

David said...

Well for one thing the rockets going into Israel from Gaza have hardly hurt anyone, and I suppose that even if we can say that some are 'attacking innocent civilians' I don't see how a total blockade can't be considered an attack on innocent Gazan cilivians. They're already killing those who are supposedly firing the rockets, so why do they have to plunge the whole Gaza strip into chaos?

Plus Israel isn't supplying the majority directly, obviously, since 800,000 people's homes are in total blackout. If there's no more fuel in Gaza to support production, an emergency ration plan is obviously useless. Anyway, I like how Olmert is slapping Bush in the face by completely ignoring everything that was talked about just a little over a week ago in Ramallah and in Jerusalem.

Anonymous said...

How anyone can blame this on Gazans I dont know - Israel has the direct blame because they are the ones who are leading the seige against the Gaza Strip. Ofcourse, we'll c what happens in the next few days. God willing, something will happen to stop this.

Anonymous said...

The terrorist rockets have killed several people, most of them children, and left hundreds more scarred for life. Just earlier this week a 5-year-old girl and 3-year-old boy suffered shrapnel wounds all over their bodies while running from a rocket. How is that "hardly hurting anyone"? In addition, the only reason there aren't thousands more casualties is that residents of Sderot and other Israeli towns live in fear and barely leave their homes. Oh, and they've lived through blackouts longer than the current blackout in Gaza in recent weeks as well.

And yes, Israel does supply most of Gaza's electricity directly. Around 70%. So while there might be a need to ration, there is certainly no need for Hamas to shut off the power to hospitals. Any patient who dies during this artificial blackout is a victim of Hamas, not Israel.

Joshua said...

Specious reasoning there: Hamas hardly controls the terrorist factions any more than Israel controls them. You stated it yourself: Israel supplies Gaza, hence the lack of power is under their tutelage, which can only lead one to conclude that they are responsible for the lives of those lost from lack of electricity.

Anonymous said...

Here's a report from the Guardian:

Joshua said...

Here's a report from the Guardian:

"Gaza has only one power plant, supplying around a quarter of the electricity used by the strip's 1.5 million people. The rest is bought mostly from Israel, and from Egypt. When Israel imposed a full closure on Gaza's crossings on Friday, all fuel supplies to the power plant were stopped. On Sunday evening the plant halted production. Both of its 10,000-cubic-metre storage tanks are now empty. Even before the latest closure, Israel was limiting fuel supplies, which kept production down to around 55 megawatts, a long way short of the 140MW that the plant was built to produce."

Maybe a better explanation as to why there are total power cuts under Israel's sanctions.

rana said...

this is very upsetting. i was listening to NPR's BBC report this morning on Gaza. decided to call my tata in Gaza and she just kept telling me how cold it was last night and that you all were without any heat. she said she used a hot water bag to keep warm. i was terribly upset of course. a state sponsored humanitarian crisis. totally solvable. she also mentioned water being cut off, low food supplies, no availability of candles, batteries, etc. thank God at 85 she is still doing fine.

we just finished teaching a winter term on the conflict and we have numerous students who have really been challenged by what america is supporting. we can only hope people continue to see though the spin of AIPAC and others like it. peace and strength to you.

Anonymous said...

Elect terrorists

Allow terrorists to continue launching rockets into Israel

Expect Israel to continue services while you harbor the enemy

Israel has been very tolerant. Terrorists and terrorist sympathizers who dress their kids up as bombers deserve nothing from the free people of the world. Sorry you were so late in getting the message.

Where is the sympathy for the civilians in Sderot?

I thought not.

rana said...

are you talking about Israel electing terrorists who were in Irgun and Stern Gang? Begin and Sharon, just to name a couple.

Where is your sympathy to families whose villages were ethnically cleansed in 1948, over 400 of them? Move on dude.

Anonymous said...

You also have to ask the question: 'why are they launching rockets in the first place?'And yes, the rockets have relatively hurt no one. I deplore deaths, I deplore children being scarred for life, families, etc. I don't care what nationality, but 'relatively' is correct, because it doesn't compare to the number of civilians deaths on the Palestinian side due to Israeli military attacks.

How can anyone compete militarily with the USA? I mean, Israel?

KGS said...

Boo hoo. Israel (75%) and Egypt (5%) are still supplying electricity to Gaza. Hamas' 30% production has been curtailed due to its diversion of surplus fuel to its own needs, and has thusly said to the rest of Gaza..."screw you".

This is all pure Hamas propaganda, and many within the Arab media are starting to hold them to blame. as always, the whine and complain crowd of apologists for terrorsim/ists whine the loudest.

Try pointing your fingers in the direction of the Hamas "leadership".

Anonymous said...

Hamas is the terrorist factions. They aren't pretending that they aren't attacking Israel, so why are you?

The article you quoted said exactly what I did--that Gaza is stil getting 75% of its electricity without the Gaza power plant. 75% should be enough to at the very least keep the hospitals, bakeries, and water pumps working.

When I hear an Arab Muslim, from any country, express any kind of sympathy to the Jews who were ethnically cleansed from Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem during the 1948 war then maybe I'll feel some sympathy towards the Palestinian Arabs who were forced to leave. As it is, it seems that the Palestinians want the world to cry big crocodile tears over their refugees, but when it comes to the Jews, "hey it was a war, what do you expect."

rana said...

an eye for an eye until the whole world is blind?

chimay said...

Only truth upsets.

Anonymous said...

No, Rana, just equal standards for all peoples. Either Palestinians are just as guilty of ethnically cleansing as Israelis are, or we should take it easy on both sides because of the circumstances back then. Personally I tend more towards approach #2.

David said...

Me too.