Egypt disconnects last power line, imposes southern Gaza blackout

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A full electric blackout is in effect in southern Gaza after the last power line from Egypt to Gaza was disconnected, reports say.

Gaza’s electricity company announced that the two lines that fed electricity from Egypt to southern Gaza have now been completely disconnected by Egypt. The first was disabled two weeks ago, leading to rationing of “six hours on, 12 hours off” for all districts in Gaza.

Gaza City power plant. /Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90
Gaza City power plant. /Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The full blackout is in effect in the areas of Rafah, on the Gaza-Egypt border, and the city of Khan Yunis – adjacent to the former site of N’vei Dekalim, the largest town in what was the Jewish block of Gush Katif.

Gaza’s troubles was left almost entirely without power during a number of days last month due to maintenance work on power lines “from both Israel and Egypt.” Ongoing tax disputes between PA officials and the Gaza districts also play a role in the power shortages.

Usually, Israel is blamed in Palestinian media when such things occur, but Palestinian Authority (PA) news outlet Maan admitted it’s not Israel’s fault this time.

Earlier this month, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhari said Israel was partly to blame for the deaths by fire of three children in Gaza, because the fire was caused by candles lit for light in a blacked-out house.

Despite PA debts of millions of shekels to the Israel Electric Company for electricity supplied to Arab-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, the Supreme Court issued a restraining order against detaching PA cities from the electric grid until further notice. Gaza, on the other hand, has its payments to Israel deducted automatically in advance for whatever electricity it receives.