Category Archives: Infrastructure

Vaccinating Gaza

The closure of the Gaza Strip is tight enough to make life difficult for residents, but fences and checkpoints don’t prevent viruses from passing through, as became apparent earlier this month. Despite predictions that the closure of Gaza might protect it from exposure to the Swine Flu, the virus was identified in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, and already some 185 people have been diagnosed as infected, 13 of whom have died. Continue reading

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NEWSFLASH: The Israeli MFA isn't telling the whole truth

On December 6th, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a newsletter highlighting the economic situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Though there are some miscalculations, for the most part the MFA’s data are accurate. The real problem is that the numbers appear without context. In this week’s post we provide context for the MFA’s (mostly) correct numbers. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 6 Comments

Surf's Up

It’s become almost common knowledge that on any given day, anywhere from 40-50 million liters of untreated or partially treated sewage flow from Gaza’s sewage treatment plants into the Mediterranean Sea, and an additional 20 million liters seep into the ground, threatening other water sources. The treatment plants, due to crossings policies blocking supply of fuel and spare parts, intermittent electricity supply, and years of de-development, are struggling to treat 70 million liters of sewage produced by Gaza’s 1.5 million residents each day. Continue reading

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Running Out of Gas

The severe shortage of cooking gas in the Gaza Strip has attracted scant media and public attention over the past two months. Generally, since the closure was imposed in 2007, the average monthly amount of cooking gas that Israel allows into the Strip has met only 56% of needs in Gaza. Continue reading

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Is Increased Aid to Gaza Good News?

Last week Israel proudly boasted of a sharp increase in the transfer of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. This announcement coincided with the publication of a statement of concern by the European Union regarding the humanitarian situation in Gaza, noting that there has been no improvement since January 2009, when the war ended. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 8 Comments

A Storm in Gaza

The first storm of the winter hit Israel last week. Following a long period of drought, the plentiful downpour was greeted with joy, even though the stormy weather predictably caused flooding and damage. The rain and strong winds also hit Gaza, where residents found that they are particularly vulnerable in stormy weather. Continue reading

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Can Gaza’s Stagnant Economy be “Reactivated”?

Amr Hamad, Deputy Director of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, came to Ramallah from the Gaza Strip last week to help assess the damage to the business sector in Gaza as a result of the last war. He told a Gisha representative that the European Union is considering compensating factories, business facilities and other institutions for the damages they sustained, estimated at $45 million (U.S.). EU representatives apparently understand the problematic nature of a situation where European tax-payers are to be sent the bill for damages caused by the Israeli army, and they have decided not to call it compensation, but rather a “business reactivation” plan. Continue reading

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Are The Last Gates to Gaza Being Nailed Shut?

According to Palestinian officials, last month Israel mounted three attempts to transport industrial diesel into the Gaza Strip via the Kerem Shalom border crossing. Previously, Nahal Oz has been the only crossing designed and equipped for the transfer of fuels and gas to Gaza. The reports that Israel intends to close down the Nahal Oz crossing completely follow a gradual slowdown of operations at the terminal, which now operates only three days a week. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 4 Comments

Lighting up the Holiday

Rafiq Maliha, Project Manager at the Gaza Power Generation Company (GPGC) heaves a heavy sigh before beginning his description of the current situation at the Gaza Power Plant. Apparently he’s been over this quite a few times already. “Originally, the Gaza Power Plant was designed with an output capacity of 140 megawatts of electricity,” he explains. “Throughout its years of operation, the plant’s maximum output level was 118 megawatts. That was in 2006, just before Israel bombed the power plant and destroyed all six transformers”. Continue reading

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Teaching Gaza a Lesson

Picture this: its 7:15am, 40-60 children are crammed into a single classroom ready for a new day of learning. Many of them have no exercise books, textbooks or even pencils. This scene repeats itself at 12:15pm, when the “second shift” starts in the same classroom, at the same school, with the same overcrowding and the same shortages (no, this is not Israel in the 1950’s; this is the Gaza Strip in 2009). Continue reading

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