Israel retreats from reducing electricity supplies to Gaza

Electricity Supply

Israeli media sources revealed on Friday that Israel backtracked on its decision to reduce the amount of electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip which was supposed to be implemented starting from the 1st June.

The Hebrew website Walla said that Israel decided to adopt the recommendations of the Israel Ministry of Public Security and the Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and National Resources, Yuval Steinitz, to freeze the decision temporarily, according to Safa news agency.

Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories, Yoav Mordechai recently announced that the Israeli authorities will reduce the amount of electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) which falls in line with its punitive measures against Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas warned the Israeli authorities of tightening the siege on the Gaza Strip and its consequences and the Palestinian factions held, in a press statement, Israel responsible for the repercussions of this decision.

Mordechai’s decision sparked sharp disagreements in Israel. A week ago, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper published a letter sent by Steinitz to Mordechai saying that Israel “does not receive instructions from the PA”.

Steinitz called for postponing the decision until a special session in this regard is held with competent authorities from the Shin Bet, the National Security Council and other parties.

The PA has announced a series of punitive steps against the Gaza Strip to reduce expenditures and deducted 30% of the salaries of 60,000 PA employees working in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip suffers from a severe electricity crisis that started to exacerbate several weeks ago as the power plant was shut down on 16th April 2017 because of the insistence of the PA in Ramallah to tax the fuel sold to it, which led the Gaza Strip to rely only on the Israeli and Egyptian lines with an electricity schedule of 4 hours on and 12 off.

(Source / 03.06.2017)

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