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  September 28, 2012

Gaza's People Blame Poverty on Israeli Blockade and Hamas Leadership

For Gazans life remains unbearable, Amnesty International estimates that 70 percent of families live on less than one dollar per person per day
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NARRATOR: Gaza, like the West Bank, is still an occupied territory that the Arab Spring forgot, but that does not mean its politics have been unaffected.

NARRATOR: The political party in power is the Islamist party "Hamas", and in this overcrowded seaside enclave residents defy all odds and are known to be resilient.

NARRATOR: Here in the narrow alleys of the famously overcrowded, "The beach refugee camp," the level of poverty is so high that the UN says more than 70 percent of Gazans depend on food or cash aid.

NARRATOR: More precisely, Amnesty International estimates that 70 percent of families live on less than one dollar per person per day,

Misery and frustration is the mood here as a result of years of frequent power cuts that last anywhere between eight and twelve hours a day. This disrupts many daily activities in particular the pumping of water.

NARRATOR: The Real News talked to a number of people at Beach refugee camp and here is what they had to say:

"Energy officials in Gaza put the blame on the Israeli side as well as Ramallah government in the West Bank, for hindering the supply of enough fuel or spare parts for the power plant, while other people accuse the government in Gaza for not doing enough to solve the long existed problem, despite the fact that as fuel is being imported from Egypt via underground tunnels across the border."

ENERGY OFFICIAL: Meanwhile, access to water is very limited for Palestinians and sanitation in the region is in a very critical condition according to World Bank reports. the ground water sources are contaminated and in need of treatment and half a million people do not have access to domestic plumbing.

NARRATOR: The Real News Spoke to Munzer Shuplaq, a water expert who warned that the costal aquifer which is Gaza's only source of fresh water supply will have dried up within the next four years with more than 95% of ground water is not drinkable, adding that the Mediterranean Sea is still dangerously polluted by the pumping of tens of millions of liters of untreated raw sewage that discharged into the Mediterranean daily.

Munzer Shuplaq, Director of the Costal Municipalities Water Utility:

The long-suffering people in the camp are descents of refugees who fled or were forced to flee their original hometowns in 1948 from "historical Palestine by Zionist militias.

NARRATOR: The complicated state of Gaza seems appalling, as people here lack basic things, such as clean water to drink and electricity as well as source of income; this of course requires the unity of the dived Palestinian leadership and the help of the international community, to assist Gazans have a normal life.

-- END


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