Israel begins reducing Gaza power supply after Abbas cuts payment

Claudine Rigal
Июня 19, 2017

Israel on Monday started reducing the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, after the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) cut down its payment for electricity supply to the Hamas-run enclave.

It described the move as "a first step toward the implementation of a recent decision, taken at the request of the Palestinian government in Ramallah, to gradually reduce electricity to Gaza".

The same month saw Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads up both the PA and the Ramallah government, vow to take "unprecedented measures" to pressure Hamas - which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 - to relinquish control of the embattled coastal territory.

According to Gisha, an Israel-based human rights group, Israel has been selling 120 megawatts to Gaza, supplied through ten power lines, with each line carrying 12 megawatts.

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 two million residents receive from an electricity grid dependent on Israeli supplies, Palestinian officials said.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Electric Corporation confirmed that the cut down has started, in accordance with the PNA's decision to cover only 70 percent of the cost of the power that Israel provides to Gaza. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Providing electricity to the Gaza Strip is an internal Palestinian issue".

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