Home > Conflict & Security, Middle East, Politics > In The Dead Of Night

In The Dead Of Night

Saleh Al-Naami writes in Al-Ahram:

Adnan Abu Ras, 34, owns a small grocery shop in the Al-Rimal quarter of Gaza City. On Monday, he had to cancel further purchases of ice cream from Gaza’s central distributor, since a couple of days earlier all the ice cream he had in his shop had melted and spoiled because of power cuts in Gaza. He did not want to compound his losses.

All the other grocers in the city met the same predicament. They, too, had to stop stocking not only ice cream, but also every other type of food requiring refrigeration.

In recent days, nearly round-the-clock power cuts have turned people’s lives in Gaza into a nightmare after the European Union cut off funding for fuel shipments a week ago before it decided to reverse this decision yesterday morning. Since electricity powers so many vital services, the availability of frozen foods is probably the least of their problems.

Take healthcare. Mohamed Zarif, who suffered a heart attack 10 days ago, was one of the fortunate ones. Imagine the relief of his five children when the doctor informed them a couple of days ago that their father would be released from intensive care in the Dar Al-Shifa Hospital the following day, now that he was no longer in a critical condition.

Not only was their father out of danger, but he was also spared the peril of lengthy surgery at a time of severe shortages in the fuel needed to power the hospital’s generators.

Meanwhile, that shortage has aggravated the anxiety of the family of Mohamed Bin Ouda, who is being treated in the same hospital for pneumonia. The nearly 60-year-old patient’s life hangs on the thread of the continued functioning of the pulmonary unit’s breathing apparatus.

There is virtual unanimity in Gaza that the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is responsible for this state of affairs, no matter how much that government attempts to put the blame on Hamas.

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