Gaza Electricity Worsens: Only Generating Plant and Power Lines From Egypt Shut Down

Strip left in oppressive heat and darkness with only the 70 megawatts of power still supplied by Israel

A Palestinian woman during a blackout in the southern Gaza Strip in June.
A Palestinian woman during a blackout in the southern Gaza Strip in June. IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS

The Gaza electric company said the power plant in the Gaza Strip had shut down and the power lines from Egypt were also not supplying electricity. Only the electrical transmission lines from Israel were operating and they supply only 70 megawatts. The daily electricity shortage is now 500 megawatts in Gaza, said the company.

The inability to supply electricity will have severe implications on life in the Gaza Strip on every level, and we call on those involved to find a solution to the crisis, said the electric company.

The Gaza Strip's only operating power plant was shut down late Wednesday due to a severe shortage of fuel, leaving the coastal enclave in an almost complete blackout, local officials said.

Officials at the Hamas-run power corporation said they had turned off the last operating turbine at the plant in southern Gaza City.

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When electricity was available in the Gaza Strip, July 12, 2017

The Gaza Strip, with more than two million people, has been suffering from an energy crisis since mid-April due to a dispute over taxes between the Islamist Hamas movement, which rules the enclave, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

Gaza has been under a tight Israeli blockade since Hamas' violent takeover of the coastal enclave a decade ago

Since April, Gaza's power station has not been generating any electricity, while Israel has reduced the amount of power it supplies to the Gaza Strip, partly at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which refuses to pay any longer for the electricity Israel supplies to the Hamas-controlled enclave.  

Power lines built to supply electricity from Egypt have been damaged amid heavy fighting in the Sinai region. Two weeks ago, Egypt shipped around 4 million liters of diesel fuel to operate the power plant - but it was not enough to resolve the worsening crisis in the long run and provided only temporary relief.