that electricity will be available for less than six hours a day in
Gaza as winter approaches, an official announced during a news
conference on Sunday.
Director of public relations for the main electricity authority in
Gaza Jamal Dardasawi warned that the company would fail to
meet even a minimum of six-hour electricity distribution a day as
winter approaches due to increasing demand.
Dardasawi said that the electricity available in Gaza is now down
to 25 percent of what is needed and is expected to fall to 20
percent or even less due to weather conditions.
"It has become impossible for the electricity company to meet the
minimum power needs of the population of the Gaza Strip," he
Dardasawi pointed out that the Egyptian grid which supplies power
to Rafah and southern Khan Younis in the south was disconnected
Saturday and the Gaza company was unable to provide electricity
to these areas.
Fuel shortages have caused daily life in the Gaza Strip to grind
slowly to a halt since early November, as power plants and water
pumps are forced to shut down, cutting off access to basic
necessities for Gaza residents.
Lack of diesel fuel is a result of the tightening of a 7-year-long
blockade imposed on the territory by Israel with Egyptian support.
Until July of this year, tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt provided
a vital lifeline for the territory amidst the otherwise crippling
Israeli blockade. The blockade has been in place since 2006, and it
has limited imports and exports and led to a major economic
decline and wide-reaching humanitarian crisis.
In the last year, however, the situation had greatly improved, as the
tunnels to Egypt witnessed a brisk trade following the Egyptian
Revolution. Since the coup against Egyptian president Morsi in
July, however, Egypt has strictly enforced the blockade and
targeted the tunnels.
Egyptian Maj. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim said in October that nearly
800 tunnels had been destroyed since the beginning of the year at
that time, while Rafah officials estimated in September that these
operations had demolished 95% of previously existing tunnels.
Gaza Strip energy officials blame Egypt for destroying these
tunnels while maintaining the larger economic blockade, along with
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade
imposed by Israel since 2006.
The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the
Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship