An Israeli tank attack has destroyed a fuel depot at Gaza’s only power plant, cutting electricity to Gaza City and other parts of the Palestinian enclave of 1.8 million people.
Firefighters were unable to bring the billowing blaze under control.
The Gaza Energy Authority says the vital facility will be out of action for a year.
Prior to the strike the plant had the capacity to provide Gazans with three hours of electricity per day.
Supplies are now reduced to zero and the privations that result will impact across the Gaza Strip.
The enclave’s main medical centre, the Shifa hospital, already overwhelmed by the number of wounded, is preparing for the worst as Dr Youseff Abu el Rish explains:“Power is expected to go out completely, because what we have will only last a few days. That threatens a number of hospital departments, especially intensive care, dialysis, pediatrics and surgery all these are threatened with collapse.”
As well as the constant flow of casualties from Israeli bombardments the regular patients are now at risk.
Mohammed Saad is a patient who requires dialysis:“If there is no power, there is no treatment. I will become breathless and unable to move. If the electricity goes down, what can we do. We belong to God and to him we shall return.”
Despite mounting international pressure for the fighting to end the cycle of violence looks set to continue.