GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s ongoing electricity crisis deepened on Saturday after Egyptian power lines feeding the southern part of the besieged territory and a power line from Gaza’s sole power plant became damaged.
Gaza’s electricity company said in a statement that the total power supply available to the besieged territory is 93 megawatts, 70 megawatts of which are provided from Israel and 23 from Gaza’s power plant, which is operating only one generator out of the three available.
The statement highlighted that the Gaza Strip needs an average of 500 megawatts for proper electricity distribution that covers all of its needs.
Gaza residents are currently connected to power for just four hours at a time, followed by 12 hour blackouts, down from Gaza’s normal schedule of two eight-hour intervals of electricity each day.
In May, the Palestinian Authority (PA) decided to slash funding for Israeli fuel to the coastal enclave, and requested that Israeli authorities dramatically reduce its supply of electricity to Gaza, which was already reeling from lack of adequate access to electricity and fuel.
As a result of agreements between Hamas, the de facto leaders in Gaza, and Egyptian authorities, Egypt imported millions of liters of fuel into the territory, averting a full humanitarian collapse in the coastal enclave as Israel began to gradually reduce its supply of electricity.
The PA has been the center of widespread condemnation in recent weeks for its policies in Gaza aimed at putting pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the besieged coastal enclave and hand over the territory to the PA.
Gaza, which marked its 10th year under an Israeli-enforced blockade last month, has struggled for years with power shortages due to limited fuel access and degraded infrastructure.
Egypt, which borders Gaza in the south, has also upheld the blockade following President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in 2013, subsequently closing the Rafah crossing to Palestinians.
The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable for residents by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and a decade of Israel’s blockade.
(Source / 08.07.2017)