The state on Monday morning is scheduled to boost the amount of electricity it provides the Gaza Strip to the level it was half a year ago. Gaza residents are expected to get between two to four more hours of power a day from this increase; how much also depends on the power supply from Egypt and the output of Gaza’s own power plant. For the past several months Gazans have had only four hours of electricity a day.
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The restoration of the daily 120 megawatts of electricity is being done at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which asked for Israel’s cooperation in the context of the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas. The order to the Israel Electric Corp. was issued by Energy Minster Yuval Steinitz, in coordination with the security establishment.
Monday’s increase – assuming that the electricity from Egypt isn’t interrupted and the Gaza plant can overcome its chronic problems – will bring the total power supply to the Strip to 208 megawatts a day. According to the Gisha nonprofit association, various estimates put Gaza’s power requirements at between 400 to 500 megawatts a day.
Following the decision to restore the power supply, Leah Goldin, mother of 1st Lt. Hadar Goldin, who was killed in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 and whose remains are being held by Hamas, posted a message on the Arabic-language Facebook page of the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories that read, “Not returning Hadar Goldin for burial is considered a crime in Islam.”
One of the promises the PA had made as part of the Palestinian reconciliation process was to get Israel to restore its power supply to its former level. About half a year ago, the PA told Israel it was reducing its payments for electricity to Gaza by 30 percent, as a result of which the IEC reduced the electricity going to the Strip to only 70 megawatts a day.