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Gaza on Brink of ‘Systemic Collapse,’ ICRC Warns

A Palestinian woman receives dialysis at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, 16 April. Gaza hospitals are operating at minimal capacity due to the ongoing energy shortage. PHOTO: Ashraf Amra/APA

By Ali Abunimah | 16 May 2017

THE ELECTRONIC INFITADA — Gaza is on the brink of a “systemic collapse” as the electricity crisis deepens, the International Committee of the Red Cross is warning.

“Severe power and fuel shortage has reached a critical point in Gaza, endangering essential services including healthcare, wastewater treatment and water provision,” the ICRC said on Tuesday.

“ICRC doesn’t issue statements often,” Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch commented, “When they do, you listen.”

ICRC added that without immediate intervention, “a public health and environment crisis is looming.”

People in Gaza currently have only six hours of electricity each day, as the territory’s only functioning power plant has no secure supply of fuel.

Last month, the UN said that Gaza’s hospitals were already working “at minimal capacity” and the World Health Organization warned that all of Gaza’s public hospitals could be forced to suspend critical services, putting thousands of lives at risk.

Now the ICRC is saying that “a systemic collapse of an already battered infrastructure and economy is impending.” […]

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