Israeli regime reduces power supply to besieged Palestinian enclave

A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 11, 2017.  (Photo by AFP)
A Palestinian family eats dinner by candlelight at their makeshift home in Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli regime is set to reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, worsening an already severe shortage in the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Israeli media said on Monday that the security cabinet decided Sunday to reduce the daily amount supplied to Gaza by around 45 minutes.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told alleged that the reduction was due to an ongoing row between Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.

Hamas has run Gaza since 2007, when it seized it from Abbas’s Fatah following an electoral dispute over parliamentary polls won by the resistance movement.

Abbas runs the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Palestinian leadership based in the occupied West Bank.

Multiple attempts at reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah have failed.

The PA however had continued to pay Israel for some electricity delivered to Gaza.

The PA decided to cut electricity payments for Gaza in April.

Hamas said then the “catastrophic decision” would have “dangerous” consequences.

Electricity supply is a major concern in the hot and cramped territory, which is currently marking the holy fasting Muslim month of Ramadan.

Gazans currently receive only three or four hours of electricity a day.

The electricity is delivered from the territory’s own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.

Residents who can afford it use generators to power their homes or businesses in the impoverished Palestinian enclave of some two million people.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently warned of a looming humanitarian crisis due to prolonged power outages in the Gaza Strip.

Newborns are seen inside incubators at the neonatal intensive care unit at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on April 23, 2017, which has been heavily relying on generators due to drastic power cuts.

The reduction has also fueled anti-Israeli sentiments and sparked fears of another upsurge against the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The Israeli military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over 11,100 others were also wounded in the war.