Gazans are facing severe water and electricity shortages under Israeli airstrikes

  • Gazans are facing severe water and electricity shortages as a result of the crossfire between Hamas and Israel.
  • Residents in the region are now down to about five hours of electricity use a day, The New York Times reported.
  • They also have access to about half their normal supply of water.
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Palestinians are facing severe water and electricity shortages as deadly conflict between Israel and Gaza continues into its ninth day.

Gazans have access to about five hours of electricity per day, The New York Times reported, along with half their normal supply of water. 

The shortages come after Israel first launched airstrikes into Gaza last week. Hamas, the Gaza-based militant group, has been firing rockets to return the attacks. 

Dozens of people in both regions, though mostly on the Palestinian side, have died amid the crossfire. Hundreds more have been wounded. The Times reported that Palestinian authorities confirmed at least 120 people there have been killed and at least 900 injured, in addition to at least eight Israelis who were killed. 

One of the most destructive strikes came from the Israeli side, which destroyed Gaza’s only coronavirus testing lab. And on Saturday, an Israeli airstrike wrecked the Al-Jalaa tower, a building that housed journalists working for various platforms and media outlets, including local news, The Associated Press, and Al Jazeera. 

Before the airstrikes, Gaza’s 2 million people were densely packed amid little or no safe access to clean water, electricity, and sanitation resources. Estimates published by the United Nations said more than half of Gaza’s population lives below the poverty line. 

“They are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, said last week.

But the airstrikes have exacerbated these conditions. 

About 25% of Gaza’s electricity comes from Israel, the Times reported. The electricity shortage contributed in part to the water shortage, as the piped water supply is directly affected by power cuts, according to the Times. 

There has yet to be an indication that the airstrikes will stop on either side. 

A military spokesperson told an Israeli radio station that the country wants to “continue and to create pressure on Hamas,” the Times reported. 

“This morning, the chief of staff gave us the plans for the next 24 hours, the targets,” General Hidai Zilberman said on the radio. “We will hit anyone who belongs to Hamas, from the first to the last.”

The Associated Press previously reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told security officials they would “continue to strike terror targets” in Gaza “as long as necessary in order to return calm and security to all Israeli citizens.”

Hamas also said it does not plan to cease fire. 

“We warn the enemy that if it did not stop that immediately, we would resume rocketing Tel Aviv,” Hamas spokesperson Abu Ubaida said, according to Reuters.

President Joe Biden on Monday bowed to pressure from Democratic colleagues and expressed support for a ceasefire after having previously avoided pushing for one. 

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