Israel preventing reconstruction in Gaza after Cast Lead, rights groups charge

In 56-page report, Gisha calls on Israel to allow entry of industrial diesel, regular diesel, building materials, raw materials, and spare parts.

By DAN IZENBERG
August 12, 2009 00:21
2 minute read.
Israel preventing reconstruction in Gaza after Cast Lead, rights groups charge

gaza unrwa rubble 248 88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Seven months after the end of Operation Cast Lead, Gaza still lacks sufficient electricity supplies, spare parts, cement for reconstruction, and sufficient water supplies, sanitation and health care for the civilian population, the left-wing rights organization Gisha charged in a report released on Tuesday. According to the 56-page report titled Red Lines Crossed: Destruction of Gaza's Infrastructure, "Since the end of the Israeli military offensive in Gaza with the ceasefire of January 19, 2009, infrastructure in the Gaza Strip has gradually returned to its 'regular' pre-war state: industrial diesel arrives in limited quantities, there is a chronic shortage of electricity, and the water and sanitation systems teeter on the verge of collapse. The almost total ban on the import of spare parts and building materials, which has been in force for over two years, hinders reconstruction efforts in Gaza, including the repair of the vast majority of damage to infrastructure caused by the recent offensive." Israel's supply of diesel fuel to operate the Gaza power station has returned to the level of 2.2 million liters per week, which Israel considers the minimum amount necessary to fulfill the humanitarian needs of the population. This means that the power station can only provide about 80 megawatts at times of peak demand in the summer and winter, or approximately 33 percent of the Gaza Strip's requirements. Because of Israel's refusal to supply more industrial diesel, Gaza suffers from a 24% electricity deficit, states the report. It goes on to say that Israel has also refused most of the spare parts that the Gaza Strip needs to repair its electricity system, including the generators that provide power for hospitals and water pumping stations when regular electricity is lacking. According to Gisha, Israel has allowed only 11% of the total quantity needed and the rate of power loss due to wear and tear on the system has risen from 27% in December 2008 to 35-40% in June 2009. Some 25,000 spare parts destined for Gaza infrastructure are waiting in Israeli and West Bank warehouses, the report continues. About 10% of the Palestinian population has been cut off from the electricity grid since the fighting began. The water infrastructure, which was badly damaged during the operation, has been partly repaired. Some 500,000 Palestinians lived without running water for weeks during the fighting. Seven months later, 10,000 Palestinians continue to be cut off from water supplies while 100,000 more can access running water once every five to seven days, Gisha claims. Israel has yet to approve almost half of the requests for spare parts to repair the system. According to Gisha, sanitation continues to be a serious problem in the strip. Most of the pumping stations are still not operating at full capacity and tens of millions of liters of raw sewage continue to flow into the Mediterranean. In May, Israel allowed some equipment into the Gaza Strip to implement several urgent sanitation projects. Gisha called on Israel to allow the unimpeded entry of industrial diesel, regular diesel, building materials, raw materials, and spare parts. It also called on Israel to allow experts and consultants into Gaza and allow Palestinian professionals in the infrastructure field to leave Gaza for training abroad.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN