Israel decides to restore supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip

In coordination with Israel’s security establishment, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz instructed the Israel Electric Corporation to restore the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip, in response to a request by the Palestinian Authority. By so doing, the supply of electricity from Israel to the Palestinian enclave will be restored to the situation that was in place until June of 2017. The decision to restore electricity to the Hamas-run enclave was also made against the backdrop of concerns harbored by Israel’s security establishment about a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, which is liable to lead to an escalation in violence, and also within the context of the reconciliation between the President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction and the Hamas organization. Israeli Security officials reported at the most recent security cabinet meeting that the situation in the Gaza Strip currently resembles the situation that reigned prior to the Gaza war 2014, a reality that led Prime Minister Netanyahu to find ways of easing the humanitarian crisis.

It is important to note that last June the Palestinian Authority asked Israel to scale back the supply of electricity to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip and to reduce its monthly payment from almost 10 million euros a month to 6 million euros, which is equal to some 7.2 million dollars. Now that the Palestinian Authority has agreed to resume paying for the electricity, following the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Minister Steinitz has instructed the Israel Electric Corporation to restore the power supply to the Gaza Strip to its previous level.