The Red Cross has warned that Gaza faces "a systemic collapse of an already battered infrastructure and economy."
The International Committee of the Red Cross released a statement addressing the adverse effects of electricity shortages on life in the strip. "Severe power and fuel shortage has reached a critical point in Gaza, endangering essential services including healthcare, wastewater treatment and water provision," the humanitarian organization wrote. "Without immediate intervention, a public health and environment crisis is looming," it added. "All aspects of life in Gaza have been affected," the Red Cross noted in its statement. "As a result, a systemic collapse of an already battered infrastructure and economy is impending."
In 2011, a United Nations panel of human rights experts stated that Israel's blockade is in "flagrant contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law" and amounts to collective punishment of Palestinians.
A 2015 U.N. report that warned Gaza would become "uninhabitable" by 2020 if the political situation does not radically change. The blockade and the wars waged by Israel have accelerated the "de-development" of the Palestinian territories, the study noted. Another U.N. report, published in September 2016, concluded that the Palestinian economy would double in size, were it not for Israel's illegal occupation.
80 percent of Gazan households live below the poverty line, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem. Eighty percent of families in Gaza would starve without international food aid. Residents of Gaza enjoy electricity for just six hours a day on average. The strip has only one power plant.