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Dear Friends: This is a brief on the current situation in Gaza in the light of the icy weather and floods.

UN has described Gaza as “Disaster Area” due to floods and icy heavy rain in last 3 days. More that 5000 people have been evacuated from flood-damaged homes to settle in identified shelters and schools. 2 cases lost their life and other 100 have been hurt. Gaza’s 1.8 million people still have to endure daily blackouts of around 12 hours since the lone power plant was switched off last month due to a fuel shortage. Local authorities of Gaza stated that 64 million dollars is the estimated total damage due to the stormy weather in Gaza. Initial assessment mentioned at least 3000 houses flooded in the last 3 days.

Friendships

Ayman   

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lundi 28 octobre 2013 – Ayman Qwaider
 
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Petit garçon palestinien remplissant un récipient avec de l’eau, dans une école gérée par les Nations Unies à Gaza

Le blocus vieux de 7 ans sur la bande de Gaza a eu des effets dévastateurs sur la plupart des aspects de la vie des habitants. Depuis qu’Israël a intensifié en 2007 le blocus sur le territoire enclavé, la plupart des matériaux pour la construction d’’infrastructures [dont celles servant à la gestion de l’eau] ont été interdits à l’importation, de façon à rendre le siège plus concret et plus visible dans la vie quotidienne des gens de Gaza.

Les Palestiniens vivant dans Gaza sont confrontés à de terribles problèmes concernant l’accès à l’eau potable. La population de Gaza augmente rapidement, et d’ici 2020, on prévoit que celle-ci atteindra les 2 millions de personnes dans le territoire assiégé, toutes vivant dans des environnements extrêmement peuplés. Les Nations Unies on estimé que la principale source d’eau douce – la nappe phréatique côtière souterraine – sera inexploitable en 2016.

Les près de 2 millions de Palestiniens vivant dans la bande de Gaza souffrent déjà aujourd’hui de la pénurie d’eau potable. L’eau disponible ne correspond pas aux standards pour la consommation humaine. Le principal hôpital de Gaza, Al-Shifa, rapporte que l’eau disponible dans Gaza est à l’origine de problèmes de santé chroniques et a entraîné des taux élevés de mortalité infantile.

Avec 4500 personnes vivant en moyenne sur un kilomètre carré, Gaza est l’une des zones les plus densément peuplées au monde. Cela rend l’accès à l’eau potable encore plus critique pour cette jeune nation. L’eau fournie par les réseaux municipaux de Gaza est polluée, et afin de minimiser les effets de cette eau dangereuse fournie par les services municipaux, la plupart des gens dans Gaza achètent de l’eau dessalée dont le prix est cependant souvent inabordable. Continue Reading »

Water in Gaza : A Palestinian boys drinks water from a public tap in Gaza

Gaza drinkable water is running out 

The7-year-old blockade on the Gaza Strip has had devastating impacts on most of life’s aspects for people in Gaza. Since Israel began the blockade on the Gaza strip in 2007, most of the materials needed for the infrastructure are banned from entering. As a result, there is little  visible and concrete process in people’s daily lives in Gaza. One of the extremely serious problems facing Palestinian in Gaza is drinkable water. The population of Gaza is growingrapidly, by 2020, the population of Palestinians living in Gaza is expected to reach 2 million, who will be living in avery densely populated environment.  The UN has declared the main source of fresh water and the underground coastal aquifer will be unusable by 2016 for the young nation of Gaza.

 Nearly 2 million Palestinians who are living in Gaza are suffering from the shortage of clean drinking water nowadays. The water in Gaza is not fit for human consumption. The main hospital in Gaza –AL-Shifa hospital- reports that the available water in Gaza is causing chronic health problems and has caused high rates of child mortality.

With 4500 people living in one square kilometer, Gaza is one of most densely populated areas in the world. This has caused a huge demand for drinkable water in this young nation. The water provided by the municipal systems in Gaza is polluted; therefore most of people in Gaza buy desalinated water –which is sometimes too costly for people to buy – in order to minimize the dangerous affects of the water provided by the municipalities in Gaza.      

According to the World Bulletin News network, families that are already living in severe poverty are forced to spend a third of their income on the purchase of privately bottled drinking water. Residents are dependent on an underground water aquifer that is corroded and contaminated with seawater and sewage. Israel confiscates 90% of available freshwater for itself, while less than 10% is allocated to Palestinians, according to the Project Censored report.

The water problem in Gaza is not only a humanitarian issue but also a political problem. Israel is the occupying power of Gaza. According to International Law, the occupying power should provide welfare for the occupied people and provide decent life. Palestinians living in Gaza are calling upon the international community to immediately intervene before 2016 arrives, by then the damage to Gaza’s aquifer will become irreversible

Back in 2010, I was stuck in #Gaza unable to cross borders to reach Spain to peruse a master degree in Peace Studies due to ongoing blockade of borders. An amazing group from my human community – which I still blog to – thought of me and decided to take whatever measures possible to highlight the injustice I was exposed to. Great collective efforts were carried out to spot light on this hard reality. Through the proper utilization of social media outlets, we succeeded to practice our power vs a state power. I eventually managed to cross the border and made it to Spain. Mind the Strip was a documentary produced to highlight the story. Today, 3 years after, an amazing and emotional song name Mind the Strip has been produced.

To list to the song, please check here: https://soundcloud.com/mmikkael/mind-the-strip-feat-ruth-sharp

Mind The Strip, Lessons Learned

mind_strip-copia2

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Gaza has the highest density population in the world, around 5000 persons living in 1 km2

The current situation of Gaza is drastically deteriorating. Gaza is suffering an unprecedented level of total isolation from the rest of human contact outside Gaza’s borders. The devastating impacts of the ongoing Israeli blockade are very visible in the daily life of Palestinians in Gaza. The daily social conversations of people here in Gaza are about shortage of power supply, closure of the Rafah crossing point, the availability of food items at Gaza markets.Image

Gaza streets are full of power supply generators prepared to compensate for hours of shortage.

The blockade has gone further away that its impact touches the social fabric of the community and the psychological status of people. To elaborate, a good part of any evening discussion in my family goes to talk about the cut of electricity, which has reached an unprecedented level of twelve hours power supply shortage per day. My mother felt happy the other day, as the electricity was not cut off at the scheduled time, so she could finish what remained of housework. My siblings have to arrange their time according to the schedule of electricity to do their studying and homework for school. When electricity is off, they rely on candlelight. My mother uses the same light of candles to prepare food and look after my siblings. This has been the scenario of daily life in Gaza for seven years.

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power supply generator made up of battery and invertor I bought to compensate the electricity shortage and to avoid the noise of gas generators.

The evenings of Gaza have been incredibly noisy as Palestinians depend on generators to compensate for the shortage of power supply in Gaza. The use of generators is not only bad for the environment because of the toxic exhaust it produces but also the absolute noise disturbances for peoples’ psychological tranquility. I live in a very populated neighborhood in Gaza city. From the window, only concrete walls can be seen due to the intense density of people living in the neighborhood. The devastating impact of living in such a crowded neighborhood is that it shrinks your horizon of hope. Every night people start to count the hours, minute by minute, until the power supply resumes so people can have a proper sleep at night. From my perspective, the electricity cut in Gaza has had an extreme negative psychological impact on me. When power supply is off, I have the feeling of being disconnected from the rest of my human community located out of Gaza borders. Within a period of eight months, two expensive power supply generator systems have been bought in order not to lose this sense of human connection with my friends abroad.

my mother uses the candlelight while preparing food

my mother uses the candlelight while preparing food

The humanitarian catastrophe happening in Gaza is a disgrace to humanity, and to all those witnessing silently the collective punishment policy destroying the essence of hope and humanity of the population of 1.6 million people, of which almost 50 percent is younger than 18 years old. This inhumane blockade must end now because it is not about discussing politics but rather daily life of human beings.

Nights in Gaza are dark when power supply is off

Nights in Gaza are dark when power supply is off

My young sister, Raghad studying and doing her school lessons using the gaslight.

My young sister, Raghad studying and doing her school lessons using the gaslight.

 

Gaza étouffe sous le pire des blocus

mercredi 16 octobre 2013 – 06h:26

Ayman Qwaider

La situation dans Gaza s’est terriblement détériorée ces jours-ci. Gaza suffoque à un niveau jamais atteint, d’un isolement total par rapport au reste de la communauté humaine, à l’extérieur des frontières de Gaza.

Les impacts dévastateurs du blocus israélien actuel sont très visibles dans la vie quotidienne des habitants du territoire. Les conversations quotidiennes entre les gens ici à Gaza traitent des pénuries en énergie, de la fermeture du point frontalier de Rafah, de la disponibilité ou non des produits alimentaires sur les marchés de Gaza.

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Gaza est la zone la plus peuplée dans le monde, la densité moyenne étant de 5000 habitants au kilomètre carré – Photo : A.Q

Le blocus a encore poussé plus loin ses effets en attaquant le tissu social de la communauté et l’état psychologique des individus. En guise d’exemple, l’essentiel des discussions les soirées en famille, vont consister à parler des coupures d’électricité qui ont atteint la durée sans précédent de 12 heures par jour. Ma mère tentait de se réjouir du fait que l’autre jour, comme l’électricité n’avait pas été coupée au moment prévu, elle ait pu terminer ce qui restait de travaux domestiques.

Pour apprendre leurs leçons, mes frères et soeurs doivent gérer leur temps selon les moments de fourniture en électricité. Quand celle-ci est coupée, ils font leurs devoirs à la lueur de bougies. Ma mère prépare les repas et s’occupe de ses enfants à la même lumière de ces mêmes bougies. C’est cela, la vie quotidienne à Gaza, et depuis 7 ans…

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Les rues de Gaza sont remplies de générateurs électriques prêts à fonctionner pour limiter l’impact des heures de coupure d’électricité – Photo : A.Q

Les soirées dans Gaza sont incroyablement bruyantes car les Palestiniens utilisent des générateurs pour remédier aux pénuries en énergie électrique. L’utilisation de générateurs est non seulement dommageable pour l’environnement à cause des émanations toxiques qui s’en échappent, mais aussi parce que cela perturbe gravement la tranquillité psychologique des habitants. Je vis pour ma part dans un quartier très peuplé de la ville de Gaza. De la fenêtre, on ne peut voir que des murs de parpaings, à cause du taux de concentration des habitations. Un voisinage si dense rétrécit votre horizon et votre espoir, et cela a un impact dévastateur sur votre vie. Chaque nuit, les gens commencent à compter les minutes et les heures, jusqu’à ce que les générateurs s’arrêtent et qu’ils puissent enfin dormir.

En ce qui me concerne, les coupures d’électricité à Gaza ont toujours eu un impact psychologique extrêmement négatif. Sans électricité, j’ai le sentiment d’être coupé du reste de ce qui est ma communauté humaine hors les frontières de Gaza. Ces 8 derniers mois, j’ai dû faire l’acquisition de deux chargeurs et batteries, simplement pour conserver ce lien si vital avec mes amis à l’étranger.

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Un chargeur avec batteries, dont j’ai fait l’acquisition pour résister aux coupures et pour éviter le bruit des générateurs électriques fonctionnant au gaz – Photo : A.Q

La catastrophe humanitaire qui se produit aujourd’hui à Gaza est une honte pour l’humanité et pour tous ceux qui restent les témoins silencieux de cette politique de punition collective, qui s’attaque à l’espérance et à l’humanité d’une population de 1,6 million de personnes dont les 50 pour cent ont moins de 18 ans. Ce blocus inhumain doit cesser immédiatement, et il n’est pas question d’arguties politiques mais simplement de la vie quotidienne des gens

http://www.info-palestine.eu/spip.php?article14091

Dear friends and supports,

This is to update you on the current situation in Gaza.

The Egyptian army has given an order to close the Rafah crossing point this morning until further notice. The Gaza Authorities have declared this dramatic news across the Gaza Strip. Yesterday night, there were clashes between certain military groups and an Egyptian police station. One Egyption police was killed and other two injured. As consequence, the Egyptian army has shut down the borders for further notice.

Good number of Palestinians have registered with purpose to travel abroad but no window of hope that they would leave soon. In Gaza, there is sort of consensus among Palestinians that the first victim of the changing political realities in Egypt is certainly those living in Gaza.

Having observed the intense virtual interactions of palestinians throughout social media outlets, there is great fear from the coming unknown, augmenting of the food price, shutting down Rafah border, uncertainty of the recent Egyptian-sponsored signed truce between the government of Gaza and Israel ….. Over the past few days, Palestinians have been critically following-up the news coming from Egypt. The daily social conversations tend to be discussing the analyzing the politics of Egypt and its grave impacts on the Gaza daily life situations.

The grave consequences of changing political regime in Egypt on Gaza:

1. Severe shortage on the fuel which has dramatically affected the daily life in Gaza

2. Destruction of the Gaza-Egypt tunnels, the only life line for Palestinians in Gaza.

3. Shutting down Rafah Crossing point – The possible passage that connects Palestinian with the rest of the world.

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