Gazans struggle to bury their dead
Photo: AFP

Gaza suffers as siege goes on

Life under siege in Strip: Palestinian health officials report shortage of burial shrouds; cement only available on black market, long lines form at gas stations. Meanwhile, Hamas calls on world to intervene

Gaza suffers as siege continues: Israel's decision to completely seal off Gaza Strip crossings for the time being, as well as the mounting Palestinian casualty toll in recent IDF anti-terror operations, has intensified the sense of distress faced by Gaza residents.


Hospitals and the Palestinian Health Ministry, as well as family members of casualties, said they were forced to bury Palestinians killed in IDF strikes draped in flags and hospital bed sheets, because of a shortage of burial shrouds.

Running out of gas (Photo: AFP)


Meanwhile, Palestinians also faced difficulties in conducting burial ceremonies as a result of a cement shortage. At this time, cement is only available on the Gaza black market and its price leaped five-fold, a rise that has also halted all construction.


In addition, reports regarding Israel's intention to further minimize fuel supply to the Strip led to long lines near gas stations. In many locations around Gaza, and mostly in the southern part of the Strip, gas stations closed down after running out of fuel. A station owner told AFP that the supply he received only lasted for two hours.


Power outages more frequent

According to reports, more than one million Palestinians – about two thirds of Strip residents – are currently relying on UN food handouts. Electricity in Gaza also became a sought-after product, with Gazans who could effort a generator purchasing one.


Officials in the Strip are saying that Gaza's sole power station, which at this time only produces 45% of its maximal output, has enough fuel to supply electricity only until Sunday morning. Meanwhile, Gaza power outages have become more frequent in recent days. At the same time, Hamas leaders again called on the world Saturday to intervene in order to ease the siege on the Strip.


However, on a positive note, the Palestinian reported that Israel's defense establishment approved the transfer of 48 gravely ill Palestinians to hospitals in the West Bank and in Israel.


News agencies contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 01.19.08, 21:02
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