Fuel and energy are among the essential resources occupied Palestine are deprived of, as Israel’s continued blockade of Palestinian territory along the Gaza Strip has not only infringed on residents’ human rights, but has also choked the area of these resources.
Authorities in Jerusalem control much of Palestine’s energy sources and supplies through its Israel Electric Corporation, as well as heavily restricting imports, so fuel is often difficult to come by in Gaza.
According to RT, two students from the Islamic Al Azhar University in the centre of Gaza have created a solar-powered single seater vehicle which gets power from solar panels on the roof to reach a top speed of 29km/h.
The two students, Khalid al-Bardawil and Jamal al-Miqaty worked with the university’s Mechatronics Engineering Department on a shoestring budget in this effort to swerve the energy limitations that have dogged the area for many years by creating a solar-powered vehicle on a shoestring budget.
A statement by the Al Azhar University reveals the bright spark idea of a solar-powered car was inspired by the “chronic electricity deficit” and “diesel shortage” plaguing Gaza.
“Electricity [powered] motors are not available in our city and unfortunately nobody knows how to make them,” said Jamal.
“So we had to [get] a motor and make a lot of changes to it, and these changes were not easy to make.”
The solar car prototype comes as Palestinians continue to suffer an energy crisis exacerbated by an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza’s only power plant in 2006.
According the United Nation’s Office for the Coordination of Human Rights, last year the Gaza Strip only received 45% of the electricity it needed to sustain its population.
Meanwhile, severe fuel shortages have left the Gaza Power Plant operating at scarcely half its capacity.
The power plant in Nusairat has also been forced to shut down numerous times, most recently in April this year after a tax dispute with authorities.