OPINION


05-26-2017 

Stephen Lendman
Electricity Crisis in Gaza  
 

Electricity Crisis in Gaza

by Stephen Lendman

Gaza's chronic electricity shortage endangers its two million residents - ruthlessly besieged by Israel for the past decade, their suffering ignored by Trump on his trip to Israel.

In late April, the Palestinian Authority (PA) notified Netanyahu's regime it would stop paying for electricity supplied to the Strip, its cost deducted from taxes Israel collects from Palestinians.

Fatah-run PA and Hamas disagree over cost, at times forcing Gaza's sole power plant to curtail operations.

About 80% of Gaza's electricity comes from Israel, the rest from Egypt. When all power sources are delivering at optimal levels, demand is double the amount of electricity supplied.

Gazans get only about about 12 hours or less daily, worsening humanitarian crisis conditions, disrupting water pumping stations, sewage disposal and treatment facilities, along with compromising the ability of hospitals to operate properly.

Farmers haven't enough water to irrigate crops. Factories, other business and residential households can't function properly.

Lack of adequate sanitation and sewage disposal polluted offshore waters, increasing chances of illnesses and diseases.

The PA and Hamas are at loggerheads at the expense of millions of suffering Gazans. Israel remains punitive, the PA and international community dismissive of severe crisis conditions.

Israel intends reducing already dangerously inadequate amounts of electricity to Gaza - at the PA's request over a dispute with Hamas, and the Abbas-led regime wanting a significant cost reduction.

After earlier saying it would stop paying for Gaza's electricity altogether, the PA now indicates it'll cover what Israel and Egypt supply.

Weeks earlier, Gaza's sole power plant shut down after Turkish and Qatari funding stopped, the Strip left with less than eight hours of power daily.

The ICRC and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned of devastating crisis conditions if things aren't responsibly resolved.

Earlier the UN warned Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 if Israeli siege continues, along with wars at its discretion.

The Strip already is unfit and unsafe to live in. Nothing in prospect suggests positive change.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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