What's going on in Gaza?
Closed borders, power outages, shortage of schools – this is what life looks like in Gaza these days

Ayman, Gaza

August 27 2013

The Gaza official borders have been totally closed over the few weeks since the political situation in Egypt has deteriorated. Hundreds of Palestinians are unable to leave and return to Gaza due to total closure of Rafah borders by the Egyptian Army. This has had a very negative impact on all aspects of daily life of Gaza - social, economic, educational. Palestinian students, patients, those who have permits to leave Gaza have been exploring the possibilities to travel via Erez to join their universities, go for hospitalization or attend conferences or training programs. However, neither the Erez nor Rafah crossing points are totally open for Palestinians to leave. Basically, a systematic policy of isolation is being practiced against 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza, denying them basic human rights. Hopefully this situation will come to an end soon and freedom will be given to those who need it.

The power supply has been a devastating problem for Palestinians in Gaza with over 8 hours of electricity shortage per day. During nighttime, Gaza city turns into a ghost town, with darkness and the loud noise of power generators which have been forcing Palestinians to "accept" it as a part of daily life in Gaza.

The regional changing realities, ongoing Israeli occupation and internal political conflict have had dramatic impact on Palestinians' daily life. What for the politicians is merely a political discussion, is directly linked to the daily life of Palestinians in Gaza. For example, the fuel crisis is very noticeable in Gaza nowadays. You can see long rows of cars and taxicabs waiting to fill their petrol tanks to be able to run their daily life. The new school year is about to start in Gaza, but certain schools – which were either destroyed or damaged during the recent war in Gaza - have not yet been re/constructed to accommodate the high number of students. This has forced directors of certain schools to run their schools in double shifts (this is very common in Gaza). 

Fishermen have been constantly harassed by the Israeli gunships, which has badly affected their livelihood. For example, yesterday at 9:30 pm an Israeli gunship opened fired toward hasakas (Palestinian fishing boats). The Israeli forces practice all forms of attacks from one mile to 6 miles and there is no protection for the life of fishermen or their boats.

This is a rapid overview on the current situation in Gaza. Hopefully I have succeeded in bringing to Gaza to light again!!!