A View From Gaza: Fuel

Below is my first article for my column on The Palestine Telegraph, A View From Gaza: Fuel.

Countless are the hardships we’ve been through. And so are the moments of suffering we have been living for many years. From the hardships we struggle to live through because of the Israel occupation, to the ones we struggle to live through because of the government here. Life is becoming unbearably expensive.

In every country in the world, citizens pay taxes to the government, where the latter uses the money to build new parks, hospitals and schools, and fix the ones damaged from the Israeli attacks on Gaza committed in the name of the so-called self-defense.

Apart from what Israel is committing, the government isn’t going easy on the over 50% unemployed people, raising taxes on some –if not all- basic needs in life like gas, electricity and even goods smuggled through the tunnels located in Rafah by the Palestinian-Egyptian border to the south of Gaza Strip.

People have always been patiently struggling. Striving to live the nearly-impossible-to-live-under circumstances Israel has been putting us through. But when more pressure comes from the inside, the situation becomes unbearable even for the rich, who represent a very small portion of the community.

Prices boom, as their greed grows darker. The lust they can’t control over money and power has become the talk of everyone nowadays. Always has been, it’s only louder now. Everyone is wondering where the tax money goes. Yet nobody knows. All that can be seen is houses and tall building rising up. Nothing for the people.

A crisis after another, life is becoming difficult. A crisis after another, people are losing their patience. It’s been five years now since Hamas took the ruling stake on Gaza, yet things are worsening by the day. Where does the tax money go?

The people in Gaza have always been silent about how very low life standards have become or are becoming. Securing the basic needs of life is a becoming a competition now. Not long ago, we used to live in the light for eight to ten hours a day and spend the rest of the day in utter darkness. But only recently, people in Gaza live in the light for mere six hours and spend another twelve in darkness, again. Electricity doesn’t have a certain schedule while bills, on the other hand, got a lot higher compared to bills last year.

At first, nobody knew who to blame for that. But after a short while, people started blaming Hamas for it. People pay their taxes and bills forcibly rather willingly, most of the times. While Hamas organizations, on the other hand, don’t pay any bills. The thing that made the electricity company, which is a private sector, raise the cost of the kilowatt to cover the bills of these organizations which means that people in Gaza don’t only pay their bills and taxes, but Hamas organizations’ as well.

Then comes the mother of all crises, the gas crisis. Without gas, everything dies. Cars, generators, bakeries, factories, and more importantly, electricity. Without Gas, the only power plant in Gaza won’t work. A thing that will dramatically increase the number of hours through which, people in Gaza sink into darkness.

Life is on its way to collapsing as we speak. The people aren’t the least happy about it. From a crisis to another, a day in Gaza is spent. Furthermore, the reasons behind all that are still unknown to many.

The severe electricity shortage is costing people a lot of money already. And the local news headlines are becoming so heartbreaking. A seven-months-old Mohammed El-Helo, was relying on a breathing machine and electricity was cut for too long so his tiny, weak lungs couldn’t take it. He died. Electricity wasn’t there to save the situation.

Photo by: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa used under it’s Creative Commons License.

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About Nader Elkhuzundar

Nader Elkhuzundar is a commentator on Palestinian affairs and Co-founder of Beyond Compromise (www.beyondcompromise.com). Elkhuzundar occasionally freelances for The Guardian, International Business Times, and others. He's a social media enthusiast and tech savvy with particular interest in new technologies and analytics, and enjoys reading over Arabic coffee and dark chocolate.
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One Response to A View From Gaza: Fuel

  1. Pingback: PALESTINE NEWS | April 2, 2012 | Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

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