Theater of Cruelty

On the way to a new war on Gaza?

An oppressive summer, a crisis in Qatar and a rationing in Gaza – about two million people are the victims of politics. It goes from bad to worse, and the sound of war can be seen in the distance.


Yusra al-Omari is one of nearly 650 patients in Gaza suffering from kidney failure. The 51 year-old must have dialysis treatment in the city's largest hospital eight times a month. The 18. On July, al-Omari went to Al-Shifa Hospital, only to be told by doctors that the treatments would be irregular, because there is electricity for just under three hours a day. "Why should powerless, innocent patients be punished this way?" He asks.

Escalation of the power crisis. The Gaza power crisis started 11 years ago, when the only half-functioning electricity plant was bombed in an Israeli air strike. The E-plant was severely destroyed and produced with minimum capacity, so the Palestinian Authority (PA) had to rely on power supplies from Israel and Egypt.

In May this year, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, supported by the West, asked Tel Aviv to cut power supplies to Gaza to put pressure on its political rivals in Hamas, which has ruled there for the past decade. 11. In June, the Israeli government decided to comply with Abbas' wishes, and began to reduce its power supply, in spite of the humanitarian consequences for Gaza residents and the fear of triggering a fourth war there.

Photo: Ashraf Amra

Gaza needs 450 megawatts of electricity. About one-third of the total demand, about 120 megawatts, was provided by Israel, and 70 megawatts came from the local power plant, according to information from the Palestinian Energy Authority. Because of this constant shortage, Gaza residents have access to electric power 2-3 hours a day. The situation forces the power plant to rotate power supplies by cutting power in some areas in order to supply others.

Hits Gaza's hospital. The hospital generators are unable to supply power to all departments and all equipment, thus pushing staff and patients to utilize power efficiently when available.

The situation is forcing the e-plant in Gaza to rotate on power supplies; residents now have access to electricity 2-3 hours a day.

"The patients here are the real victims of this humanitarian crisis," Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra told New Times. In addition to the shortage of electricity, hospitals are already affected by a shortage of medicines. Al-Qidra adds that "35 percent of basic and more specific medicines are taken out of the ministry's warehouses, along with 40 percent of medical supplies."

The power angel has hit 40 operating rooms, 11 units in which caesarean sections and 113 incubators are performed, as well as medications, supplies and vaccines stored in refrigerators – all dependent on electricity.

Photo: Ashraf Amra

Help from Qatar. Gaza has been in a similar crisis in the past, for example, in 2016. Then Qatar came to the aid and donated $ 12 million to buy fuel for Gaza's electricity plant. But now Qatar is experiencing its own crisis after Cairo, Riyadh, Manama and Abu Dhabi broke off diplomatic relations with the "helper". One of the reasons why the four Arab capitals took this step is that Qatar provides financial support to Hamas. US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of supporting terrorist movements, including Hamas, when he visited Saudi Arabia in May.

Since 2013, Qatar has donated $ 407 million to charity projects in Gaza. They include paving of main streets, construction of homes and a center for dentures. Almost 80 percent of these projects have been completed, economics professor Moin Rajab can tell Ny Tid. He works at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. "Qatar's relationship with Gaza will not go away," Rajab said, "It will be strengthened to show the world the situation in Gaza."

War can break out at any time, despite both Israel's and Hamas' concerns about such an insane move.

Is Hamas pressing? According to political analyst Mohsen Abu Ramadan, the current crisis in Gaza is the result of a conspiracy against Hamas to isolate Gaza from the PA-controlled West Bank. "It simply came to our notice then. Both want to hit anyone who tries to help Gaza. It is a blackmail to regain power in Gaza ", says Abu Ramadan to Ny Tid. Ramadan assumes that even if Qatar was not in a crisis, none of the Gulf states would assist Gaza this time. "Not even Ankara is able to support Gaza in this crisis. "This is a tactical game to push Hamas off the cliff, and Tel Aviv is taking advantage of the situation," he said.

War Spark? It is therefore possible that we will hear Israeli war drums approaching in the coming months. In Abu Ramadan's opinion, war can break out at any time, despite concerns about such an insane move in both Israel and Hamas.

Photo: Ashraf Amra

"As Hamas is isolated from its allies, launching a war will now lead to a pure disaster, because no force will intervene to stop it," he says, adding: "A war in Gaza will be unpleasant for Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Cairo. These three countries that accuse Hamas of being a terrorist organization will change their attitude when television screens are filled by slaughtered people on the Gaza Strip. "

Still, for al-Omari and the two million inhabitants, the imminent danger of a war with Israel is not their only concern at the moment. The people on the Gaza Strip will continue to ask themselves, "What's the worst – a stifling hot summer with no electricity or water, or a fourth war?"

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