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In video: Gaza streets still flooded a week after storm
Published Monday 23/12/2013 (updated) 25/12/2013 12:58
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Screenshot from the video shows a Gaza street.
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A video shot on the streets of Gaza City shows extensive flooding more than a week after the region was hit by a massive storm.

Taken on December 21, the video from the Institute for Middle East Understanding's Jehad Saftawi shows streets, cars, and homes still completely flooded, revealing the devastation the Gaza Strip suffered in the wake of winter storm Alexa in mid-December.

The footage is shot from a camera placed on a raft as the driver navigates the streets of the al-Nafaq neighborhood in Gaza City.

Due to widespread fuel and electricity shortages, disaster response crews have been unable to pump water out of the many flooded areas across the Gaza Strip.

Additionally, a number of sewage pumps at plants across the Gaza Strip had stopped working due to lack of fuel prior to the storm, causing sewage to spill into the streets.

As a result, the water currently flooding many parts of Gaza is a mixture of cold water and sewage.

Flooding caused by the historic winter storm displaced at least 10,000 people in Gaza, while record low temperatures and electricity availability that fell to two hours a day caused great hardship for local residents.

On December 14, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said in a statement, "Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this."

On December 15, General Director of military medical services in Gaza Atef al-Kahlout warned, "We are on the verge of a complete breakdown in the health sector, services, and civil institutes," pointing to the constant exposure to sewage water in large swathes of the region.

Fuel shortages have caused daily life in the Gaza Strip to grind slowly to a halt since early November, cutting off access to basic necessities for Gaza residents.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006. The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

Until July of this year, the tunnels to Egypt provided a vital lifeline for the territory amidst the otherwise crippling Israeli blockade. The blockade has been in place since 2006, and it has limited imports and exports and led to a major economic decline and wide-reaching humanitarian crisis.

In 2011 and 2012, however, the situation improved, as the tunnels to Egypt witnessed a brisk trade following the Egyptian Revolution.

Gaza Strip energy officials have blamed Egypt for destroying numerous tunnels linking the Gaza Strip and Egypt in recent months. They also blamed the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority for charging taxes on fuel too high for Hamas authorities to afford.
1 ) Mel / USA
23/12/2013 20:44
Good video!This is not just storm Alexa.As Gunness said,it's an accumulation of events initiated by Israel's long-term collective punishment which blocks ESSENTIAL commodities,fuels,food,contruction materials,at affordable prices,needed by 1.8 million(1/2 being kids)Gazans to keep them READY&CAPABLE to handle such weather,on top.That's not just rain water.It's EXCREMENT/DISEASE TOO,since Egypt &Israel are colluding again on ONGOING attrition,persecution,of innocent CIVILIAN HUMAN BEINGS!

2 ) Robby / USA
23/12/2013 20:54
"Any normal community would ..." let me finish the quote: "Any normal community would stop making generation after generation refugees. Especially if they are Palestinian and living in Gaza, which is Palestinian territory. But the UNRWA must continue, more money please".

3 ) Richard / UK
23/12/2013 22:54
Here is another quote for you Robby. I find your lack of compassion and contempt for human suffering repugnant and despicable.

4 ) ani ma'amin / UK
23/12/2013 23:20
Meanwhile in the background, the soundtrack of the video is of car horns and traffic. One assumes the donated fuel is going into their SUVs, and the submersible pumps suitable for pumping dirty and clean water. Which can be utilized in a number of different scenarios that including flood water drainage, that were donated by Israel over two weeks ago, are not being utilised. Who is kidding who?

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
24/12/2013 10:05
Richard - your support of the fascist Hamas regime is despicable. The Hamas government rejects freedom of speech, rejects freedom of religion, rejects freedom of the press, rejects womens rights. Yet you kiss their butts and make excuses for them spending millions on rockets and massive military tunnels instead of on sewers. How sad for the Gazans.

6 ) Robert Haymond / Israel
24/12/2013 10:38
The situation in Gaza is horrible. Nonetheless, Hamas leadership keeps building infiltration tunnels intended to assist in attacking Israel. Priorities?

7 ) Mel / USA
24/12/2013 15:30
#3:Richard: Bravo! It's the obvious "lack of compassion"& blind denialism in fascist,aparthied Zionism plus a blatant Israeli cruelty,to boot,that is "despicable".Zionism's selective myopia & dualistic arrogance(#5&6)can't comprehend how any HUMAN can identify injustice &recognize Israeli war-crimes against Palestinians in Gaza(1.8 MILLION relatively unarmed civilians)UNLESS one sympathizes with Hamas.Duuh!So moronic. No 3rd/4th options,including CO-OPERATION,INTERNATIONAL LAWS & HUMAN RIGHTS!

8 ) Johnny benson / USA
24/12/2013 21:02
Soon will come the boils and the locusts..hail,,cattle disease...there no more hopeless place then gaza all caused by fools in the leadership....how stupid can they be?

9 ) spb / us
24/12/2013 21:41
Vennice gaza

10 ) spb / us
25/12/2013 06:05
This is a mute argumentl as for Gaza to have a humaniterian crisis there must be some species who can learn from mistakes

11 ) Lilith / The World
25/12/2013 12:24
Mel, get a life and get the blinkers off. The mess in Gaza id thanks to Hamas. This has NOTHING to do with this. Your hate is just awful, I don;t think I have encountered anyone quite as vile as you in my entire life.
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