A Palestinian woman sits outside her house as she escapes the heat during a power cut at Shatti (beach) refugee camp in Gaza City September 15, 2015. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Thousands of Gazans took the streets last week to protest the ongoing electricity crisis in the small coastal enclave.
As seen in photos and videos posted on social media, the protesters gathered at the Jabalia refugee camp Thursday night, and marched to a nearby building of the Gaza Electric Company where Hamas authorities shot bullets into the air and attempted to disperse the protesters, according to Ma’an, a Palestinian news outlet.
In recent days, Gazans have suffered from a sharp electricity shortage, with most households receiving three to four hours of electricity a day rather than the average of seven to eight hours they had been receiving over the past year.
Gaza’s current electricity infrastructure has the capability to provide less than half of the Strip’s electricity needs.
Walking down the streets of Jabalia, the protestors chanted a number of slogans, calling on authorities to resolve the crisis.
“We want electricity, we want electricity,” yelled the protesters.
The latest shortage has increasingly frustrated Gazans, some of whom are turning to wood and coal to heat their homes in the cold winter evenings. Others are using candles to light their homes, a practice that has led to some fires and fatalities.
Journalists at the protest were targeted by Hamas, which prevented them from freely covering the event.
According to Ma’an, Fares al-Ghoul, an AP journalist, was held at gunpoint until he surrendered his cellphone to Hamas security services.
Thursday’s protests comes a week after Hamas suppressed another protest against the electricity crisis in the Nuseirat refugee camp.