A senior UN official on Monday urged Israeli occupation to immediately allow the shipment of fuel and other essential items into the besieged Gaza Strip to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
The UN-facilitated fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant, which already ceased operations on Aug. 18, is also prevented from entering Gaza, according to McGoldrick.
Banning the shipment of fuel caused a severe electricity crisis across the Gaza Strip, as the electricity company said the power cut sometimes reached 20 hours a day.
“At present, people have access to rolling electricity supply for a maximum of four hours per day, a difficult situation at any point, but especially serious given the efforts to contain the outbreak of COVID-19,” the UN official said.
McGoldrick also warned of a significant deterioration in the health situation as the first cases of COVID-19 outside the quarantine facilities were confirmed on Aug. 24.
“Thus far, there are 280 known active cases, 243 of which are from community transmission,” he said.
“Power outages in hospitals are having serious repercussions, with patients in intensive care, chronic and emergency cases particularly vulnerable,” he added.
“The operations of water wells, sewage pumping stations, wastewater treatment plants and some desalination plants” are also impacted by the reduction in electricity supply, McGoldrick warned.
“There is now a high risk of sewage flooding populated areas, increased pollution into the Mediterranean Sea and along the coast, and further pollution to the aquifer,” he said. Enditem