Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, June 2017
Israel Reduces Electricity to 2 Million Palestinians in Besieged Gaza to 2 Hours a Day
June 14, 2017
It was not enough for Israelis to steal Palestine by force from its indigenous owners and evict them out to refugee camps in 1948, the Israeli occupation government has been blockading the Palestinian refugee enclave of Gaza Strip since 2007.
Now, the Israeli occupation government has reduced electricity to two hours a day, endangering the life of two million people, particularly children, women, and the elderly.
All these Israeli crimes against humanity could not have happened without support from the US-EU to the apartheid state of Israel.
Israeli occupation government reduces electricity to Gaza to 2 hours a day
Jun 12, 2017
Gaza residents have electricity for less than six hours a day due to the 10-year-old Israeli-Egyptian and internationally-backed siege.
After this reduction, each household will have less than two hours electricity every day.
Usually, Qatar and Turkey pay for the fuel of the sole electricity plants in Gaza, which provides a couple of hours every day.
Due to the current diplomatic crisis between the Gulf States and Qatar, it is not clear whether Qatar would renew its payments or not.
Chief of Staff of the Israeli army Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, Military Intelligence Directorate Head Major General Herzi Halevi and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the occupied territories Major General Yoav Mordechai briefed the Israeli ministers on the situation in Gaza and warned of deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
Qatar is currently the main financer of civilian activity in the Gaza Strip. If this support stops because of the Gulf nations’ boycott against Doha, the humanitarian situation in the strip could deteriorate, leading to possible military escalation as well.
According to the briefing given to the ministers, neither Egypt nor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to come to the aid of the Gazans, and Israel is left with no choice but to act with extreme caution to prevent the situation from escalating.
Israeli occupation regime reduces power supply to besieged Palestinian enclave
Press TV, June 12, 2017
The Israeli occupation regime is set to reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, worsening an already severe shortage in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
Israeli media said on Monday, June 12, 2017, that the security cabinet decided Sunday to reduce the daily amount supplied to Gaza (to two hours a day).
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told alleged that the reduction was due to an ongoing row between Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.
Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it seized it from Abbas's Fatah following an electoral dispute over parliamentary polls won by the resistance movement.
Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestinian leadership based in the occupied West Bank.
Multiple attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have failed.
The PA however had continued to pay Israel for some electricity delivered to Gaza.
The PA decided to cut electricity payments for Gaza in April.
Hamas said then the "catastrophic decision" would have "dangerous" consequences.
Electricity supply is a major concern in the hot and cramped territory, which is currently marking the holy fasting Muslim month of Ramadan.
Gazans currently receive only three or four hours of electricity a day.
The electricity is delivered from the territory's own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.
Residents who can afford it use generators to power their homes or businesses in the impoverished Palestinian enclave of some two million people.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently warned of a looming humanitarian crisis due to prolonged power outages in the Gaza Strip.
Newborns are seen inside incubators at the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on April 23, 2017, which has been heavily relying on generators due to drastic power cuts.
The reduction has also fueled anti-Israeli sentiments and sparked fears of another upsurge against the Tel Aviv regime's occupation.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The Israeli military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.
Israel cuts Gaza electricity after Palestinian president says he will no longer pay the bill for Hamas
Raf Sanchez, Jerusalem
12 June 2017 • 1:14pm
Hamas warned of a fresh "explosion" of violence in Gaza on Monday after Israel agreed to the request of the Palestinian president to cut back electricity supply to the isolated enclave.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA), asked Israel to cut the electricity supply to put pressure on his political rivals in Hamas, who have ruled Gaza for the last ten years.
The Israeli cabinet decided this week to accept Mr Abbas’s decision and begin scaling back power, despite the humanitarian impact on Gazans and concerns the cuts might spark another war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Gaza gets only around four hours of electricity every day and the initial cut is expected to reduce that time by around 45 minutes, Israeli media reported. It is not clear when the cuts will begin.
Gaza hospital faces disaster over electricity reduction
The electricity shortages affect all aspects for the two million people living in the small strip on the Mediterranean coast. Hospitals are cutting back operations, poor families cannot keep refrigerators running and people often struggle to charge their mobile phones. Clean water supplies are dwindling because there desalination plants are without power.
In a statement, Hamas threatened both Israel and Mr Abbas and said the decision would increase the likelihood of conflict.
"The decision by the Israeli occupation to reduce electricity for the Gaza Strip after being asked by the president of the Palestinian, Mahmoud Abbas, is catastrophic and dangerous because it harms all ways of life in Gaza. It will accelerate the deteriotion of conditions and cause an explosion in Gaza," the Islamist militant group said in a statement.
Israel and Hamas have fought three bloody and inconclusive wars in Gaza since 2008, resulting in the deaths of around a dozen Israel civilians and around 2,000 Palestinian civilians.
There has been relative quiet since the last war ended in the summer of 2014 but the situation remains permanently tense.
Israel has maintained a blockade on Gaza since 2007, when Hamas seized control of the territory during bloody street battles with the Palestinian Authority. But Israel also closely monitors the situation inside Gaza out of concern that a humanitarian collapse might spark a new war with Hamas.
Gilad Erdan, the Israeli public security minister, said it was "not definite" that the electricity cuts would cause a military confrontation and urged Palestinians to turn away from Hamas, who are considered a terrorist group by Israel, the US, and the UK.
But other ministers had argued against the power cut, saying Israel should not be dragged into an internal Palestinian feud between Hamas and the PA. There was no immediate response from Hamas in Gaza.
Mr Abbas made the decision to cut electricity supply as a way of putting pressure on Hamas, which has defied his Western-backed government for ten years and refused to give up power in Gaza.
Mahmoud Abbas (right) is eager to show Donald Trump he is a reliable partner. Credit: EPA/ATEF SAFADI
The 82-year-old Palestinian president may also be eager to show Donald Trump that he is the dominant figure in Palestinian politics and strong enough to negotiate a peace deal with Israel and be a partner to the US.
“I think it's a dangerous approach, however, and one that ultimately will hurt everyday Gazans,” Grant Rumley, author of a new biography of Mr Abbas. “Abbas wants to be the central address for the Trump administration but while squeezing Gaza financially may put his political rivals in a bind, it will likely only widen the gap between him and the people.”
The supply of power to Gaza works through a complicated mechanism that reflects the tangled relationship between Israel and the PA. The two sides are often publicly at odds but quietly cooperate on a range of issues.
Under the arrangement, Israel collects tax receipts on behalf of the PA and then transfers the money to the PA government based in Ramallah. Every month, Israel would dock money from that transfer to cover the cost of electricity supply in Gaza.
The PA said in April that it no longer wanted money to be docked for Gaza’s electricity.
The UN estimates that Gaza needs an estimated 400 megawatts of power to meet basic humanitarian standards but is currently getting by on around 150 megawatts. Around 120 megawatts of that total is supplied by the Israeli power station and funded by the PA tax receipts.
If Israel were to cut off power to Gaza entirely, it would leave the strip with only around 30 megawatts of out the 400 needed. “If that 120 megawatts gets switched off you kick Gaza into the dark ages,” said one UN official.
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