Israel begins to reduce electricity supplies to Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-19 21:00:12|Editor: ying
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JERUSALEM, June 19 (Xinhua) -- 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.

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.

According to a statement by the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO), the electricity supply from Israel to Gaza was reduced by 6.7 percent.

Last Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet decided to instruct the state-owned Electric Corporation to start limiting the power.

The move came despite local and international human rights organization warned that a humanitarian crisis might break out if power supply to the besieged enclave would be further restricted.

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. Since this morning, Israel cut supply on two lines from 12 to eight megawatts, the group said.

At the same time, Israel continues to "severely limit entrance of generators and spare parts needed for their repair to Gaza, as well as entrance of transformers and equipment needed to repair an electricity network nearing collapse," the group said.

The PNA's decision is largely seen as a mean to pressure the Palestinian Islamist movement of Hamas.