Israel’s blockade keeps Gaza in the dark

The Gaza Strip has been under siege for a decade, with a strict Israeli-Egyptian blockade controlling the entry and exit of people and goods. Electricity is rationed throughout the territory, as Gaza has access to less than half of its power needs through purchases and local generation, officials say. Residents may receive eight hours or fewer of electricity a day, with blackouts common. Gaza’s power plant was bombed in 2006 and the electricity network suffered further damage during the 2014 war, straining the system to its limits. The lack of electricity also has consequences for the pumping and treatment of sewage water. In addition to Israeli attacks and restrictions, infighting between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah have contributed to a lack of progress in solving the territory’s power crisis. “There are plans to develop a new power plant or even solar fields, but … we need international approval and we lack agreements between Fatah and Hamas,” said Hazem Ahmed, a representative of Gaza’s local power company.

A young Palestinian during a military-style exercise

Young Palestinians crawl under an obstacle during a military-style exercise at Liberation Youths summer camp, organised by the Hamas movement, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
A young Palestinian crawls through a tunnel during a military-style exercise at a summer camp organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian woman reads the Quran next to the grave of her son

A Palestinian woman reads the Quran next to the grave of her son at a cemetery on the first day of Eid al-Fitr celebrations, in Gaza City.