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Darkness in Gaza after blockade

Gaza City slowly ground to a halt Monday, with traffic dying down on the normally bustling streets and bread lines forming outside the few bakeries that had not closed for lack of fuel.

world Updated: Jan 21, 2008 23:01 IST

Gaza City slowly ground to a halt Monday, with traffic dying down on the normally bustling streets and bread lines forming outside the few bakeries that had not closed for lack of fuel.

Weary Gazans awoke in darkness and struggled to stock up on staples after the territory’s sole power plant — which provides most electricity to the city — shut down late on Sunday over fuel shortages caused by the Israeli blockade.

Meanwhile doctors at Gaza City’s main Al-Shifa hospital expressed mounting concern as the fuel supply for its generators slowly dwindled.

“We have 15 patients on breathing machines. If the electricity is cut off they stop working and the patients will die of blood poisoning after about five minutes,” Doctor Fawzy Nabulseyah, director of the intensive care unit said.

“Most of them were wounded in Israeli operations and air strikes,” he says, gesturing to the windows looking in on the ICU where the victims, mostly young men, lay unconcious surrounded by machines.

The victims include Mansur al-Rahil, an 18 year-old wounded when an air strike targeting a vehicle full of militants struck his cart on Thursday, killing his mother and elder brother.