GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Electricity grids for all districts in the Gaza Strip will only be providing power for six hour intervals followed by 12 hours without power, due to a problem with the Egyptian power lines, Gaza’s electricity company announced Monday morning.
The company’s Public Information Officer Tariq Labad told Ma’an that Egypt promised to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Labad added that once the Egyptian lines are fixed, electricity grids in the Gaza Strip will return to operating eight hours on, eight hours off, as usual.
The Egyptian lines that provide electricity to the southern Gaza Strip contribute 20 megawatts.
The Gaza Strip 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 as well as the ongoing tax disputes on fuel for the enclave’s near-defunct power station.
Palestinian officials announced at the end of April the Gaza Strip would be exempted from paying fuel tax this summer, marking a temporary resolution to the tax dispute that has deepened an electricity crisis in the besieged enclave.
The 80 to 100 percent exemption on fuel tax was expected to go into effect May 1 to continue until the end of the summer, intended to guarantee Gaza eight hours of electricity per day from the besieged enclave’s sole power plant.
The power plant — alongside Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids — fail to cover the territory’s energy needs and has suffered from chronic shortages due to the near-decade long blockade.
War has also taken its toll, and during Israel’s 50-day offensive on Gaza in 2014, the power plant was targeted, completely knocking it out of commission.