Updates from August 5-8, ordered last to first:
Monday, August 8, 15:00
Gaza residents awoke this morning to a familiar reality of destruction, ongoing trauma and economic hardship, made worse by the latest Israeli assault on the Strip.
The Gaza Ministry of Health reports 44 people were killed in the Strip since Friday, including 15 children, and 360 were injured. The Gaza Housing Ministry reported 1,675 housing units were damaged, 71 of them to the point that they are no longer inhabitable. Dozens of families are internally displaced.
Erez Crossing, which Israel closed on August 2, was opened today for exit of foreigners (aid workers, journalists, etc.), Palestinian citizens of Israel, patients and their companions. Thousands of workers are still blocked from entering Israel. Other humanitarian access is limited.
Kerem Shalom Crossing, also closed since August 2, was partially opened today to allow entry of fuel for Gaza’s power plant, food, and humanitarian supplies. Exit of goods is still barred by Israel, with tremendous losses for farmers and traders in the Strip. The economic implications are dire.
Gaza authorities removed restrictions today on sea access that had been imposed during hostilities, and fishermen returned to the ‘fishing zone’ Israel enforces regularly. Like their peers from other sectors, fish traders report huge losses due to the closing of Kerem Shalom to exit of goods.
Sunday, August 7, 18:00
Today, human rights organizations Gisha, Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, and Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights sent an urgent letter (Hebrew) to Israel’s Minister of Defense, Attorney General, and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, demanding they take action to put an immediate stop to the killing and harming of Gaza’s civilian population. The organizations also called on Israeli authorities to open Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings without delay so as to allow humanitarian access, at the very least, including exit of patients in need of urgent medical treatment that is not available in Gaza and entry of fuel and other essential goods. In the letter, the organizations stated that Israel’s violation of its legal obligations towards Gaza residents may amount to war crimes. See here for further information.
Sunday, August 7, 11:00
- Kerem Shalom Crossing has been completely closed to movement of goods since August 2.
- Erez Crossing is completely closed to movement of people. Not even ambulances with critical patients are being allowed through.
- Gaza’s power plant is shut down, the electricity shortage stands at 79% according to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCo).
- The lack of electricity wreaks havoc on every institution in the Strip, impacting healthcare, supply of water and wastewater treatment (when these systems were already struggling).
- The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cites that as of yesterday afternoon, 650 housing units in Gaza had already been damaged.
Saturday, August 6, 16:30
A shortage of electricity, compounded by Israel’s closure of the crossings with Gaza since Aug. 2, is threatening to close vital departments in hospitals throughout Strip. Gaza Ministry of Health warns: “The countdown has begun to halting health services within 72 hours.”
Gisha reiterates its call on Israel to fulfill its obligations towards the civilian population in Gaza and allow vital humanitarian access, including to fuel, medicine and medical equipment and to allow departure of patients who need life-saving treatment outside the Strip.
Saturday, August 6, 15:00
The Coastal Municipalities Water Authority (CMWU) in Gaza warns against the implications of the deepening power shortage for water supply and sewage treatment in the Strip. For a reminder of how these systems have been impacted by Israel’s policy since May 2021, see here.
The CMWU has called on the United Nations and international community to urgently intervene to ensure fuel supply needed for Gaza’s power plant and backup generators, in order to allow local officials to alleviate the humanitarian situation and prevent further health and ecological disaster.
Saturday, August 6, 11:00
According to a notice sent to residents, Gaza’s sole power plant will shut down today (August 6) at 12pm for lack of fuel. Gaza’s total power supply will drop to 120 megawatts, while demand is for 500 MW in summer. Electricity supply to homes expected to be 4 hours on/12 hours off.
Israel is legally obligated to allow the continued provision of necessities to residents of Gaza and must do so immediately. The Strip’s already insufficient electricity supply depends on access to fuel. Further reductions put more lives at even greater risk.
Friday, August 5, 19:00
Israel has launched another attack on Gaza, where two million people, half of them children, are still reeling from the devastation of previous assaults and a suffocating 15-year closure. Civilians in Gaza are trapped, exhausted, and afraid. STOP.