Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90
A family in Rafah in southern Gaza having dinner at candlelight during blackout hours

The Palestinian Authority agreed on Wednesday to restore 50 megawatt of electric power to the Gaza Strip and asked Israel to resume supplying the Strip with the power, according to WAFA. The PA, nine months ago stopped paying the Israel Electric Company for Gaza’s electricity as a means of squeezing the Hamas government, announced that it took this decision to ease the hardships faced by Gaza residents.

“The decision is bound to improve living and health conditions in Gaza as power supply returns to normal,” WAFA declared, but had enough sense not to pin the human crisis caused by the PA on “the Occupation.”

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Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA official in charge of liaison with Israel, said in a different statement that at the instructions of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the Ramallah Civil Affairs Authority officially asked Israel to resume supplying 50 megawatt of electric power to the Gaza Strip, which should bring the power supply to where it was before the PA messed with it.

However, according to Israel’s Channel 1 TV, the normal supply prior to Abbas’ interference was 120 MW daily.

Meanwhile, the director of public relations in the electricity distribution company in Gaza, said the company has not yet received any additional power. He confirmed that should the power in Gaza be restored to 50 MW, it would have a positive impact on people’s lives.

He added that the electric company cannot predict how many hours of power would be added—currently Gazans subsist on about two hours a day—but reassured customers that the crews of the electric company are technically ready to receive the added electricity directed to the sector.

According to Ma’an, it is expected that the new supply would reach 8 daily hours of power.

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