Palestinian Authority to resume electricity payments to Gaza

Palestinian Authority to resume electricity payments to Gaza
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas intends to resume electricity payments that were halted in June which have led to chronic electricity shortages in the besieged territory.
2 min read
03 January, 2018
Gazans have been suffering a worsening power crisis since April [Getty]
The Palestinian Authority has agreed to restore electricity payments to the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told WAFA news agency on Wednesday.

50 megawatts of electricity will be returned to the enclave, which has been critically deprived of power since an energy blockade was imposed in June.

The worsening energy crisis has been pinpointed as exacerbating the alarming humanitarian situation in the overpopulated region.

The decision to resume the payments was initiated by President Mahmoud Abbas as part of his plans to reunify Palestine and alleviate the suffering of millions of Gazans, according to Hamdallah.

"We affirm that we will not hesitate for a moment in shouldering our national responsibility for the people of the Gaza Strip, and we will make every effort to strenghten their resilience and improve their quality of life in order for them to confront the challenges they face," added the prime minister.

The electricity payments have been a key issue in ongoing Palestinian efforts at reconciliation between Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah.

A cut in PA payments to Israel to supply power to Gaza in June reduced the amount being delivered to the Palestinian territory by some 50 megawatts. Many residents had been left with only around four hours of electricity per day as a result.

The Palestinian Authority has been harshly criticised for its handling of the Gazan electricity crisis, labelled by a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as political power play between the PA and Hamas, at the expense of its citizens.

Agencies contributed to this report.