An all-out blockade is in place alongside the Israeli forces’ assault on the war-torn Gaza Strip. As a result, millions of people in Gaza have suffered endlessly. The remaining vegetation there is now being indiscriminately cut down for fuel amid continued Israeli bombing. Even doors, windows, furniture are being used for fuel. This information came out in a report of the Guardian on Saturday.
Gazans are left with no choice but to cut gas to cook and keep warm in the extreme cold as the fuel supply to Gaza is cut off. Instead of gas stove, they built a special type of stove with clay. Wood is used to light the fire in these stoves. Gas supplies to the Gaza Strip are cut off due to Israel’s blockade. Residents are also struggling to get alternative firewood. Because there are not many trees in Gaza. There is no large forest area. Finding firewood in the cold is a big challenge for the locals. As a result, it takes several hours to bring the wood to the destination.
According to the World Food Program (WFP), 70 percent of displaced people in Gaza use wood as fuel. In addition to uprooting and suffering, health risks are increasing. Nazmi Mawafi, a resident of Gaza, said, “A large number of trees are being cut down. They cut any tree. No one is judging what kind of tree it is, what damage it will cause to the environment while cutting it. Wood is used for cooking and heating water. Besides, one has to go far in search of wood. It takes up to several hours.’
It poses serious health risks to Gazans who are not accustomed to using wood. According to the World Health Organization, respiratory infections have increased in Gaza. In the last one week, the agency has detected 1 lakh 29 thousand respiratory infections.
Ali Dali, a displaced resident, said, ‘Many are buying wood or cutting it from roads and other places. Burning wood is affecting health, but there is nothing to be done about it. Between cooking smoke, air raid smoke and cold, we live in sickness and danger.’