Sunday, December 8

Gaza power crisis worsens as winter approaches

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Strip Power Authority is worried 

that electricity will be available for less than six hours a day in 

Gaza as winter approaches, an official announced during a news 

conference on Sunday.

Director of public relations for the main electricity authority in 

Gaza Jamal Dardasawi warned that the company would fail to 

meet even a minimum of six-hour electricity distribution a day as 

winter approaches due to increasing demand.

Dardasawi said that the electricity available in Gaza is now down

 to 25 percent of what is needed and is expected to fall to 20 

percent or even less due to weather conditions. 

"It has become impossible for the electricity company to meet the

 minimum power needs of the population of the Gaza Strip," he 


Dardasawi pointed out that the Egyptian grid which supplies power

 to Rafah and southern Khan Younis in the south was disconnected

 Saturday and the Gaza company was unable to provide electricity 

to these areas.

Fuel shortages have caused daily life in the Gaza Strip to grind 

slowly to a halt since early November, as power plants and water 

pumps are forced to shut down, cutting off access to basic

 necessities for Gaza residents.

Lack of diesel fuel is a result of the tightening of a 7-year-long 

blockade imposed on the territory by Israel with Egyptian support.

Until July of this year, tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt provided

 a vital lifeline for the territory amidst the otherwise crippling

 Israeli blockade. The blockade has been in place since 2006, and it 

has limited imports and exports and led to a major economic 

decline and wide-reaching humanitarian crisis.

In the last year, however, the situation had greatly improved, as the 

tunnels to Egypt witnessed a brisk trade following the Egyptian 

Revolution. Since the coup against Egyptian president Morsi in 

July, however, Egypt has strictly enforced the blockade and 

targeted the tunnels.

Egyptian Maj. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim said in October that nearly 

800 tunnels had been destroyed since the beginning of the year at 

that time, while Rafah officials estimated in September that these 

operations had demolished 95% of previously existing tunnels.

Gaza Strip energy officials blame Egypt for destroying these 

tunnels while maintaining the larger economic blockade, along with 


The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade 

imposed by Israel since 2006.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the 

Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship 

for Gazans.

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