The Israeli general responsible for civilian issues within the Gaza Strip denied on Friday that Israel was to blame for the current electricity crisis in the isolated enclave.
- Thousands protest electricity cuts in Gaza Strip, clash with Hamas forces
- Three babies reportedly die in Gaza due to constant power outages
- With only three hours of electricity a day, Gaza is 'on verge of explosion'
Israel supplies the Strip with 122 megawatts of electricity on an ongoing basis, said Maj. Gen. Yoav (Poli) Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). He added that a recent fault with one of the electricity lines had been repaired immediately.
In addition to the electricity from Israel, Egypt supplies 20-30 MW and the Gaza power station generates 60 MW, he said.
Mordechai denied that Israel prevents the entry of diesel fuel into the Strip, saying that some 350 million liters of fuel were supplied to the power station through the Kerem Shalom pipes.
Israel would supply 700 liters daily if it were economically viable, he added. Israel's electricity company has reportedly not been paid for the electricity supplied in the past and wants financial guarantees before it delivers more.
Mordechai blamed Hamas for the current electricity crisis in Gaza. "The leaders of Hamas enjoy electricity 24/7, while the rest of the population only gets three hours a day," he said.
He also accused Hamas of using the funds it raises from taxing electricity for "personal interests and military equipment." Every tunnel from Gaza has a generator beside it exclusively for the use of Hamas, Mordechai said.
Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused the Palestinian Authority of using the crisis to "damage Hamas's image and sanction Gaza's people."
He stressed that Hamas was open to "positive collaboration with any effort to solve the crisis."