Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Print view: Gaza's Electricity Crisis
REPORT:

Gaza's Electricity Crisis

A cruel strategy to harm the most vulnerable among your adversary's population, learned from Americans in Iraq?

by Stephen Lendman
Friday, 16 July 2010
As a result of power shortages the overall function of hospitals and clinics, sewage treatment, and water treatment and pumping and irrigation are all highly impacted, causing hygiene and health concerns and crippling agriculture and aquaculture farms.

Under siege for over three years, Gaza's humanitarian crisis continues unabated, Israel's bogus easing doing little to relieve it, including a serious electricity shortage, what the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement addressed in a May report titled, "pdf graphic Electricity Shortage in Gaza: Who Turned Out the Lights?"

Besides earlier attacks, Cast Lead severely damaged Gaza's sole power plant, putting it on the verge of collapse, exacerbated by inadequate industrial diesel supplies and the destruction of power lines supplying electricity from Israel and Egypt.

As a result, Gaza experiences outages of up to 12 hours a day, severely disrupting "normal functioning of humanitarian infrastructure, including health and education institutions and water and sewage systems, as well as the agricultural sector." In addition, faulty generators at times kill or injure users, an untenable situation because of Israeli attacks and siege, in violation of international law.

Chronology of Gaza's Electricity Crisis

In 2002, Gaza's sole power producer (the private Gaza Power Plant - GPP) became operational. In 2004, its potential capacity was 140 megawatts (MW), its remaining needs bought from Israel. In June 2006, IDF aircraft destroyed GPP's six transformers. In September 2006, the company bought 17 MW of electricity from Egypt.

In November 2006, seven transformers became partially operational, a year later reaching its 80 MW capacity not used because of Israeli fuel restrictions, worsened after the June 2007 siege, preventing entry of equipment, spare parts, other essential items, and enough diesel. By January 2008, operations were at 30% of capacity, causing outages up to eight hours daily - now 12 since January 2010 for lack of fuel and funds.

Gaza needs from 240 - 280 MW, almost half purchased through 10 high-voltage Israeli lines, 17 MW (6 - 7%) coming from Egypt to the Rafah area, and the rest (107 MW) supplied internally when GPP is fully operational, hampered by Gaza's dependence on Israeli diesel, severely restricted under siege.

Presently, about 2.2 million liters a week come in, only 63% of GPP's needs for full capacity - hence, outages.

In 2009, GPP produced about 65 MW, creating a 42 MW shortfall, exacerbated by the grid's poor condition, electricity thus lost after transmission through waste. Worse still is Israel's building materials ban, preventing proper maintenance and rehabilitation. As a result, the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCo) has regular, rotating outages throughout the Strip, distributing the burden, not relieving what only a siege lift can accomplish, only possible if public outrage forces world leaders to demand it with harsh recriminations if ignored.

EU Involvement

From summer 2006 - November 2009, the EU and individual member states subsidized GPP's fuel purchases, bought from Dor Alon, Israel's public fuel company. Thereafter, direct financing ended, but some European companies maintained support, prevented by Israel from exceeding 2.2 million liters weekly, far short of what's needed.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Involvement

Since November 2009, the PA Fuel Authority assumed responsibility for funding Israeli and Egyptian supplied power. According to the PA/GPP agreement, it must purchase diesel and pay $2.5 million monthly for operating expenses, requiring a budget of 49 million Israeli shekels (NIS) per month, paid in diminishing sums of 41 - 30 NIS from January - April.

As a result, less fuel is bought, down to 5.6 liters in April compared to almost nine million in 2009 and 14 million monthly to operate at full capacity. According to PA officials, they couldn't meet all financial obligations, wanting Gazans to pay their share, not possible because of the Strip's dire economic condition exacerbated under siege and regular attacks.

Collection Problems

GEDCo needs NIS 50 - 60 per month, but only gets up to 18, most covering expenses, maintenance and salaries, leaving only a few million for fuel. From June 2007 - March 2010, the cumulative consumer power supply debt reached NIS 2.3 billion because of Israeli imposed post September 2000 hardships, the start of the second Intifada. Thereafter, free movement restrictions and economic deterioration followed, greatly exacerbated by three years of siege and Cast Lead.

From 1998 - 2000, monthly collections were 83% of electricity bills, but since 2000, they're 39%, mostly covered by NGOs and international organizations because Palestinian households are too impoverished to do it.

According to the PA, Gazan funds can be collected from 77,000 PA employees, 30,000 employed by the government, the others working in the private sector or tunnel economy.

To facilitate collection, 10,000 meters were installed to force consumers to pay in advance, a similar system in the West Bank, where collections rose in the past two years by getting them from those able to pay. However, PA officials say Gazan government institutions and municipalities don't do it for electricity, the siege a key reason why.

However, Hamas wants to improve collections and plans to institute measures to enforce them, working cooperatively with GEDCo, the company so far refraining from strict enforcement.

Implications of the Electricity Crisis

Because of insufficient fuel in Q 1 2010, GPP operated a single turbine most often, generating 30 MW of power, less than half of 2009 output, using two turbines. As a result, the electricity deficit rose 30%, followed by rising outages, mostly in Gaza city and surroundings where about half the population lives and most hospitals and other vital infrastructure facilities are located.

In April, a lack of fuel forced GPP to shut entirely for several days, raising the power deficit to 43%, increasing the length and frequency of outages. During summer, conditions always worsen with greater demand and less electricity generated because, at high temperatures, power is needed to run cooling systems, meaning less goes to consumers.

The entire Strip is impacted, including those able to pay regularly. As a result, throughout 2010, 30% of Gazans have no electricity during some part of every day.

"For lack of an alternative, GEDCo initiates power outages by disconnecting power lines that serve hospitals, water wells, wastewater treatment facilities, schools, pharmacies and clinics, as well as homes," severely impacting daily life for everyone.

The alternative is private generators, but they're dangerous, in Q 1 2010 causing dozens of injuries and 17 deaths, including six children because of unsafe use, carbon monoxide poisoning, and fires and explosions when users try to fuel them by candle-light during blackouts.

All Sectors of Gaza Affected

Power shortages force hospitals and clinics to rely heavily on generators, not able to operate for prolonged periods because overuse causes damage. As a result, elective surgeries are delayed or not done. Refrigeration outages risk deterioration of certain drugs, and the overall function of facilities is severely hampered, at times putting patients' lives in danger.

Gaza's sewage treatment plant requires 14 days of uninterrupted power to fully complete treatment cycles, impossible with daily outages, forcing release of 60 - 80 million liters of raw or partially treated waste into the Mediterranean to avoid flooding residential areas, at times flooded anyway.

Pumping water also needs power, but because continuous operation isn't possible, domestic use is especially impacted, causing hygiene and health concerns. At most, nearly all households get water for 5 - 7 hours a day, an immense hardship to endure.

Education is affected as well, causing darkened classrooms, inadequate heat in winter, water disruptions, damaged electronic equipment, and lack of proper refrigeration for school canteens to store food, creating an overall environment not conducive to teaching and learning.

Further, power cuts interrupt crop irrigation, decreasing yields, fodder production, as well as egg and dairy output. In addition, aquaculture farms are threatened because pumps needed to filter or oxygenate water are affected.

Conclusions

Gaza's municipalities and the Palestinian Energy Authority share joint ownership of GEDCo, a company with experienced, professional staff handling Gaza's power system, its managing board comprised of Gazan and PA officials who must work together cooperatively to operate well.

Yet, according to Gisha, it's incumbent on Israel as the occupying power to provide for the needs of the people, including adequate power, what it hasn't done in 43 years, mostly more recently by restricting fuel, equipment, and other supplies needed for optimum operations.

The solution, of course, is clear:

  • world community pressure forcing Israel to end the siege entirely and comply with its international law obligations to provide for the needs of all Gazans and Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem;
  • allow the free passage of fuel, equipment and other supplies to supply the entire Strip's needs;
  • let in experts and advisors for their expertise, and allow Gazan professionals to be trained abroad to improve theirs; and
  • return the Strip to normality, able to rebuild, grow its economy, and become self-sustaining with the West Bank and East Jerusalem cooperatively, free from an oppressive occupation, one day to be realized because growing numbers demand nothing less.

Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on July 16, 2010.
 

Public Service Ads: