UNITED NATIONS, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, "is following with great concern the tense situation in Gaza, where a new energy crisis is currently unfolding," a UN spokesman said here Wednesday.
The UN envoy said that reform of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company is essential to improve revenue collection and transparency in line with international standards, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
"The de facto authorities in Gaza must ensure that collection rates are improved and that revenue collected in Gaza is returned to the legitimate authorities in order to keep fuel and electricity supply flowing," he said. "And all in Gaza must share the burden by paying their bills."
He added that Israel also has a significant responsibility to assist by facilitating the entry of materials for repairs and maintenance of the grid and power plant. Egyptian power lines to Gaza also need to be repaired and upgraded.
"Mr. Mladenov called on all parties to ensure that this vital issue of energy for Gaza is resolved once and for all," the spokesman said. "The UN stands ready to provide its support in achieving this vital goal."
Palestinians in Gaza have lived in a protracted humanitarian crisis and should not be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures, the UN envoy said.