An urgent appeal was made today by Mr. Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory. Fuel supplies are dangerously low affecting every aspect of life in Gaza.
“We have now run out of funds and are delivering the final supplies in the next few days. Without funds to enable ongoing deliveries, service providers will be forced to suspend, or heavily reduce, operations from early September, with potentially grave consequences”, said Mr. McGoldrick.
The occupying authority has prevented fuel from entering Gaza as part of their “restraint” policy, denying 2 million Palestinians medical services. Operating on 4 hours a day, public and NGO supported hospitals need fuel to run generators for newborn, trauma, and intensive care units.
Further, there is a risk of sewage overflow increasing the danger of waterborne diseases for a population already living with 97% of water unfit for human consumption. Water related diseases are the primary cause of child deaths in Gaza and account for a quarter of all illnesses.
Fuel is used to compensate for the severe lack and chronic outages of electricity in Gaza. An 11 year old child in Gaza does not know what it means to have a full day of electricity.
With funding cuts to UNRWA by the US, emergency food aid, primary healthcare, and education are deteriorating. Gaza’s unemployment is one of the highest in the world so over half the population are dependent upon UNRWA.
The fuel crisis is exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian disaster impacting the lives two million Palestinians, half of whom are children. Entering the 12th year of a blockade, the plight of Gazan’s is dire, and moving towards collapse.
It is the obligation of the occupying power to provide for the humanitarian needs of the protected population according to International Law. Equally illegal is the blockade which must end if there is to be peace in the region. Palestinians will endure…they will not go quietly into the night.