Gaza terror rocket hits Strip’s own power lines, leaves Palestinians in dark

Damage will take days to fix; minister delays repairs until it is safe for workers

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Smoke billows after a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip hit near a railway track near  Sderot in southern Israel on May 29, 2018.
(AFP / Jack GUEZ)
Smoke billows after a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip hit near a railway track near Sderot in southern Israel on May 29, 2018. (AFP / Jack GUEZ)

One of the rockets fired by terrorist groups from Gaza at southern Israel Tuesday struck equipment that provides electricity to the southern Gaza Strip, knocking out power to thousands, a spokesperson for Israel’s Electric Company said.

The damage to three power lines leading to Gaza was preventing the flow of electricity to the the southern areas of the beleaguered coastal enclave, the spokesperson said Tuesday evening, leaving tens of thousands of Gazans with no electricity.

The electric company said the repairs were expected to take several days.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz ordered the company to hold off repair work until the situation in the restive border region returned to calm, in order to “not endanger its workers.”

Gaza, which already suffered from severe electricity shortage, depends almost entirely on Israel for the several hours of power it receives a day.

Tuesday saw terrorist groups launch over 70 mortar shells and rockets at southern Israel, according to an Israeli tally. The projectiles caused several injuries and some damage, though a large number were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

In response, Israeli aircraft bombarded dozens of positions belonging to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups, including a “unique” Hamas attack tunnel, which passed from the Strip through Egypt and into Israel, the army said.

Four Israelis — three soldiers and a civilian — were wounded by shrapnel in the attacks. One soldier was moderately wounded, while the rest suffered light injuries.

One mortar shell struck a tree in the yard of a kindergarten, shortly before children were due to arrive, in the Eshkol region of southern Israel.

The army said it holds the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza, responsible for every rocket and mortar attack coming from the Strip, regardless of who physically fires it.

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