Gaza’s power distribution company said Thursday that supplies to the territory’s two million residents have dropped to unprecedented lows, with blackouts lasting for more than 24 hours.
While the Palestinian enclave needs at least 400 megawatts of power a day, only 70 are available since Gaza’s power plant shut down late Wednesday.
Diesel fuel from neighboring Egypt had kept the station running at half capacity since June 21, but deliveries were interrupted after a deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers last week near the border.
Israel, the main provider of power to Gaza, has cut shipments at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian leader is trying to put pressure on Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The Islamic terror group seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s forces a decade ago.
On Wednesday, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, warned Israel that the current energy crisis afflicting the Hamas-run Gaza Strip is having a devastating effect on the local population and will eventually negatively impact Israelis too.
He said that Israel has no immediate, direct role to play in solving the crisis, but that once it has been resolved by the conflicting Palestinian factions, Israel should do its utmost to improve conditions for the citizens of the coastal strip.
“The effects of the crisis are devastating,” he said. “And all of this, at the end of the day, will come back to Israel’s doorstep.”