Israel reduces electricity supply to Gaza

Israeli on Monday reduced the amount of electricity it is providing to the Gaza Strip, in compliance with a request from the Palestinian Authority, The Times of Israel reported.

Thabet said Gaza was receiving 112 megawatts of power a day, down from the previous level of 120 megawatts.

"We were informed that the reduction will continue with this rate to include all Israel lines", it added.

The Palestinian Energy Authority said the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) had cut by eight megawatts the 120 megawatts it supplies to the Gaza Strip over power lines.

According to a statement by the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO), the electricity supply from Israel to Gaza was reduced by 6.7 percent.

The cutback, announced last week by the Israeli government, is expected to shorten by at least 45 minutes the daily average of four hours of power that Gaza's 2 million residents receive from an electricity grid dependent on Israeli supplies, Palestinian officials said.

Israel has described Gaza's power crisis as an internal Palestinian issue, saying it is merely a supplier.

The best way for the UN Security Council to aid the peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to adopt a resolution listing the Palestinian movement Hamas as a terrorist organization, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday.

Electricity in Gaza is set to become yet more scarce as supplies to the strip will be scaled back by 40 percent.

Israel accuses Hamas of diverting Gaza's limited electricity for military use and worsening the hardship on its people.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Abbas' Fatah party in 2007.

Gaza's sole electricity plant frequently runs out of fuel for its generators and rations power supplies.

Abbas has also cut the salaries of tens of thousands of former employees in Gaza, hurting the territory's already poor economy.

"Israel today is the only one supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip, but unfortunately, there are problems between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the PA in Ramallah, which caused the PA to decide not to pay for the electricity", Mordechai noted.

The Gaza energy authority said Monday's "dangerous" reduction would have "serious effects" in a territory already suffering from chronic power shortages.

  • Rogelio Becker