RAMALLAH, May 29, 2017 (WAFA) – Responding to reports by the Hamas-run energy authority in Gaza regarding an agreement reached between Gaza and Ramallah to solve Gaza’s worsening electricity crisis, the Ramallah-based Energy and Natural Resources Authority denied Monday reaching any such agreement.

It said in a statement that “after reviewing the proposal submitted by the Gaza power authority to end the electricity crisis, it was realized that it actually consolidates the division, particularly among the institutions operating in the electricity sector, and imposes additional financial obligations on the reconciliation government by proposing the expansion of the electric lines with the Israel Electric Company, by buying more tax-exempt fuel and to provide the distribution company with 40,000 meters worth about $6 million and other commitments, without even obliging the Gaza power authority to transfer the money collected to cover the price of the electricity supplied to the Gaza Strip, purchase the fuel or the meters, or hand over the full powers of the Energy and Natural Resources Authority.”

The Hamas energy authority in Gaza and the Electricity Distribution Company said in a joint statement on Monday that they have “complied with the terms of the national reconciliation government” to resolve the crisis.

However, the Energy and Natural Resources Authority denied putting any conditions for resolving the electricity crisis in Gaza and stressed that it has discussed this crisis with the UN envoy to the region, Robert Piper, along with other international actors, who stressed that solving the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip is by ending the division and enabling the Government of National Reconciliation to work freely in the Gaza Strip and by transferring the electricity bills collected by the distribution company in Gaza to the Ministry of Finance without preconditions to allow the ministry to buy the fuel needed to run the only power plant in Gaza and the restructuring of the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company. ”

It added: “We do not look forward to partnership in managing the electricity sector in the Gaza Strip, as stated by the energy authority in the Gaza Strip, but to have full powers to ensure the efficiency of the work of the electricity distribution company there, and make sure the instructions and regulations issued by the Palestinian government are applied.”

It stressed that “the solution to the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip is by ending the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip, ending the causes of division following the 2007 coup to allow the government to enforce the law and to reform the structure of the distribution company and energy sector in general.”