Fears and frustrations remain high after fuel deliveries finally returned to Gaza this week. With the Strip’s only power station shut down for two weeks, residents were left with just four hours of power a day as temperatures soared. Now that “normal” service has been resumed, Gazans will get 10-12 hours of electricity per day, still nowhere near adequate by modern standards.
At the same time, the normally bustling streets of Gaza have fallen silent. Last week the Strip was placed under a strict lockdown aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19, which finally escaped control and began spreading in the community. Gaza’s health system is woefully underequipped to cope with a large outbreak, with only enough intensive care beds and ventilators to cope with a few dozen serious cases.
Gazans feel acutely vulnerable as they finally face a virus that has caused so much suffering and disruption around the globe. They fear for their own safety and that of their loved ones, while living with the knowledge that services they depend upon – such as electricity – can easily be cut at any time. The consequences on the mental health of a population that has lived under severe movement and trade restrictions for 14 years should not be underestimated.
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Date: 31 August 2020
Camera: Hisham Mhanna
ICRC Ref: 20200903-Gaza-COVID_Fuel
00:00 - 02:33 General street shots from Gaza during the COVID-19 lockdown quiet streets and closed shops.
02:33 – 03:53 General shots driving along the Gaza seafront during the COVID-19 lockdown.