The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Gaza in the dark

Interesting article in CounterPunch on the impact of the destruction of Gaza's power plant on its future economic growth:
By bombing the plant, the Israelis cut power to 65 percent of the Gaza Strip, a region that is one of the most impoverished in the Middle East. By destroying the plant, the Israelis also decimated one of Palestine's most valuable companies, the Palestine Electric Company, whose shares are traded on the Palestine Stock Exchange. Further, the Israelis have destroyed any chance for industry in Gaza to grow.

It is axiomatic among the world's economies: as electricity consumption increase, so does wealth. Gazans are impoverished, in large part, because they don't have enough electricity. Residents in Gaza consume just 654 kilowatt hours of electricity per year or about one-tenth of what Israelis consume. The average Israeli consumes about 6,183 kilowatt hours of power per year, a rate that places Israel 27th among the world's countries in terms of power use. By comparison the residents of Gaza rank number 136 among the world's countries in per capita power use, a status that places them behind residents of Peru.
Not to mention, of course, the costs to businesses, students, traders, etc. Incidentally, kudos to Egypt for pledging to give Gaza free electricity.

Also check out MERIP's new online piece, Gaza in the Vise, for a detailed look at the humanitarian impact of Israel's war, especially on children.