Gaza’s only power station closed in November, after it ran out of diesel. For years, supply from the Israeli grid had been intermittent, and electricity cuts due to fuel shortages had long been a daily occurrence. Torrential rain and severe flooding in Gaza in December led to even longer blackouts than usual. Alternative diesel supplies had previously been smuggled into Gaza from Egypt, through tunnels running under the frontier. But earlier in the year, the Egyptian military—which had overthrown a Muslim Brotherhood government sympathetic to Gaza’s Hamas rule—had closed most of the tunnels. In response to the flooding, Israel temporarily lifted its blockade and permitted an emergency supply of 450,000 liters of fuel, paid for by Qatar, into Gaza. The power station gradually resumed operation, but Gaza’s infrastructure remains inadequate to meet its energy needs.
Gianluca Panella is an independent italian photojournalist focused on social reportage, current affairs, and portraits. He has traveled to the Balkans, Egypt, Haiti, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, the United States, Europe, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. His photography has been featured in a variety of Italian and international publications.