GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s electricity distributor has accused Israel of refusing to repair a 12 megawatt grid supplying power to Gaza City that became disconnected in Israeli-controlled territory on Thursday.
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday that the loss of the al-Qubba electricity grid was having a serious effect on the power supply to Gaza City, which has suffered an insufficient supply for years. The statement said that Gazan technicians would need to enter Israeli territory to repair the disconnection, requiring special permission from the Israeli military, but this has so far been denied.
The statement said that Israeli authorities were neither allowing Gazan technicians in, nor was the Israeli electricity company making any efforts to repair the damage.Gaza currently receives electricity from the Israeli electricity grid, the Egyptian electric company, and from a power station inside Gaza.However, these supply lines fall far short of the Gazan population’s needs. While they provide 230 MW of electricity, it has been estimated that Gaza requires 350 to 450 MW.Israel and Egypt have maintained a severe blockade of the Gaza Strip for the last eight years that has crippled the coastal enclave’s economy by limiting imports, exports, and movement of people.Although the power plant inside Gaza has a potential output of 140 MW it has been unable to produce that much due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports.Last summer the plant was targeted during the 50-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, completely knocking it out of commission. The Gaza power authority said at the time that the damages from the attack could take up to a year to fix completely.Gaza suffers 12 hours of power outages each day. Many individual homes have their own generators, and households can purchase extremely expensive fuel that comes into Gaza for private consumption.