ibusinesslines.com May 22, 2018

Israel reduces power supply to Hamas-ruled Gaza

19 June 2017, 06:53 | Erica Roy

Last week, the Israeli security cabinet chose to go ahead with the decision to reduce the power feed, after reaching the conclusion that Israel should not have to cover Gaza's power bills.

The Israeli authorities on Monday reduced the amount of electricity being sent to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip by 8 megawatts, according to Gaza's official power authority.

The cut, which will reduce the power flow to Gaza to just two hours a day, raises concerns of rising tensions and a collapse of vital services in a territory that has experienced three wars with Israel since 2008.

Abbas, whose Ramallah government is tasked with footing the bill, says although Gaza's ruling Hamas terrorist organization collects electricity payments from the residents in the enclave, the group refuses to transfer the monies to his government.

The power reductions come despite stark warnings of the humanitarian implications for Gazan civilians, who already suffer from critical shortages of power - with most homes receiving only a few hours even before the cut.

The Jewish state "began to reduce by eight megawatts electricity flow" into the Palestinian enclave, a statement from Gaza's energy authority said.

Hamas last fought Israel in 2014 and analysts have warned the power reduction could prompt the Islamist group to spark another round of conflict.

"The internal deliveries of electricity to consumers inside the Gaza Strip is not the responsibility of the electric company and is done by internal Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip", Israel's electric company stated.

Major General Yoav Mordechai, head of the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said last month that Israel could be forced to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip.

At the same time, Israel continues to "severely limit entrance of generators and spare parts needed for their fix to Gaza, as well as entrance of transformers and equipment needed to fix an electricity network nearing collapse", the group said. "Those are Hamas' priorities with the people".

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