A Gaza man said Sunday his 5-month-old baby died after the generator powering his respirator ran out of fuel.
The baby, who was born with lymphatic disorder, had only a few months to live, said his father, Abdul-Rahim Helou, 27. But his parents miscalculated how much fuel a new generator needed to remove fluids that accumulated in his respiratory system, he said.
“If we were living in a normal country with electricity, I think his chances of living (longer) would have been better,” Helou said.
Gaza health official Bassem al-Qadri said the baby arrived dead at a Gaza City hospital on Friday night.
The baby’s death highlights the human cost Gaza’s 1.6 million residents are paying for 18-hour-a-day blackouts, triggered by a cutoff of Egyptian fuel.
Shortages have caused days-long lines for fuel at gas stations, a sharp reduction in public transportation and families left shivering in poorly built apartments during a wet and cold winter.
More than a year ago, Hamas decided to power Gaza’s only power plant with smuggled fuel from Egypt, rather than pay for more expensive Israeli fuel, as it had done in the past.