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Gaza power cuts up to 32 hours per week
Published Sunday 13/12/2009 (updated) 15/12/2009 09:12
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The Gaza power plant at night [MaanImages]
Gaza – Ma’an – Electricity is to be distributed in Gaza on just four days a week, for eight hours a day, a spokesman for the local power company said on Sunday.

“Gaza is suffering a 25% shortage of electricity. It is expected that the shortage will increase to 35% because of winter and low temperatures which lead to an increase in [electricity] use during winter, as residents use electric heating appliances,” said Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO) spokesman Jamal Ad-Dardasawi during a telephone interview with Ma’an.

Palestinians living in Gaza are to expect between 18 to 32 hours without electricity per week, he said, adding that “there are no other options for the company other than to distribute the already existing amounts of electricity and then to cut off the electricity to avoid a crisis.”

Ad-Dardasawi pointed to a number of factors as causes of the power cuts, including Israel’s refusal to allow in sufficient fuel, malfunctions with distribution lines, and the sudden cutting off of power from Israel.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), last week Israel allowed 2.46 million liters of industrial fuel into Gaza, about 78% of what the Strip’s only power plant needs to operate at full capacity.

In addition, Gaza’s electric network was badly damaged during Israel’s war on Gaza last winter. Due to the damage, some 40,000 people are without electricity all the time, OCHA reports.

“The only realistic solution to easing the electricity shortage is for Israel to increase the amount of fuel that is allowed into Gaza. The company is producing around 60 megawatts and if more fuel were allowed in, we could produce around 75 megawatts,” he said.

Eastern Gaza receives electricity from power lines from Israel, while Western Gaza relies heavily on the local power plant, he said. “The company has proposed cutting off power in West Gaza during daylight hours, so that the area may have electricity at night.”

Ad-Dardasawi concluded by saying that “what deepens the crisis is Israel’s denying access to the materials that are needed by the company such cables, columns and parts for maintenance. There are 240 different kinds of equipment that we are lacking, which are waiting for Israel to allow into Gaza.”
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1 ) Joseph Sayegh / Beyrouth, Lebanon
13/12/2009 19:19
But of course Hamas leadership will not feel any effect, because they are getting further orders from their masters in Tehran. I wonder what they will be told. perhaps. Let the Palestinians freeze, and let them get the Swine Flu. We will make sure you are safe. Hamas and their thugs are traitors to the Palestinian cause

2 ) Baba Ganoush / Canada
13/12/2009 20:44
To Joseph Stop being such a moron..........

3 ) Joseph Sayegh / Beyrouth, Lebanon
14/12/2009 12:38
Dear Baba Ganoush, I am sure you are nice and warm in your first world country of Canada. No bombs, all the food you want, all the electricity and Arab oil you want, driving your gas guzzling SUV. Try for a moment to imagine what it is like living in hell of Gaza under these thigs. Intermittent electricity, no job, no heating, no house, food smuggled through tunnels, and the whole world against you. The nearest Arab country(Egypt) keep the border closed. And we are supposed to thank Hamas.

4 ) Palestinian / Occupied Palestine
14/12/2009 14:01
Joseph Sayegh: so you say we are supposed to thank Israel for the siege & the killing of innocent civilians? Hamas won fair and square and whether we like it or not they won and we have to accept it. I personally would have preferred a secular government, but isnt this democracy? or its only acceptable when traitors and Israel affiliates win? hamas didnt cause the suffering in gaza, the Israeli occupation did! but who am i talking to: you are most probably a servant of the zionist state!

5 ) yaser / usa
15/12/2009 05:08
im a palestinian and the thugs in gaza worry about buyin weapons instead of food and medicine for their people these are the traitors.they kill their own people, muslims for gods sake
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