The Israeli siege and the internal divide exacerbate Gaza’s electricity crisis.
International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights. (I.C.S.P.R): Demands all concerned parties’ to work and find a strategic solution to the electricity crisis in Gaza Strip, and declare it readiness to provide assistance in this regard.
I.C.S.P.R observe and monitor with indignation the renewed worsening electricity crisis about two weeks ago, and the disruption of electricity distribution program, which started over the last few days a program with 4 hours of electricity, followed by 12 hours of cutting power. While Gaza’s electricity distribution company, on Wednesday 04 January 2017, in a press release, have reported that the total energy available in Gaza Strip only170 MW, from the need of Gaza Strip in this cold weather which nearly 600 MW, having an energy deficit about (415) MW.
Renewal of electricity crisis in Gaza Strip, created a state of general anger among broad sections of the Palestinian community in Gaza Strip, as a result of putting Palestinian citizen in such circumstances continuously over the past years, under unacceptable justifications to the citizen who has the heaviest successive crises, and the potential health and environmental catastrophe at any moment.
The Israeli siege imposed on Gaza Strip effected the electricity sector, because of Israeli restrictions on boarders that leads to scarce amounts of industrial fuel, added to prevent Electricity Company of periodical machinery maintenance or entering new equipment. Since the Israeli occupation shelled the only power company in Gaza Strip in mid-2006, Gaza Strip suffered over more than ten years of continuous interruption of electricity on a daily basis.
The continuing of electricity crisis in Gaza Strip has not only impacted on all aspects of life of the Palestinians but also take many inhumane images, many Palestinians died, burned or strangled by the use of an unsafe means as a substitute for the lighting or heating, the latest victim of the electricity crisis was an elderly: Faiza Mahmoud Shahin (67 years) due to a fire in her house on 25 December 2016.
I.C.S.P.R. Considers the content of this statement is a humane, ethical and legal message addressed to President, Palestinians Cabinet, and the leaders of the Palestinian parties to endure all legal and ethical responsibility through urgent meeting to develop a national strategy that would resolve the crisis in Gaza Strip. In this regard, the international Commission declares it readiness to work with all concerned parties to study the short and long-term solutions that will end this crisis, including developing of Palestinian governing legislation for electricity sector, and reconsidering the franchising contact signed between Palestinian Authority and Palestinian Electric Company.
While emphasizing the responsibility of Israel State to facilitate and ensure the people life in the occupied territory. In addition, expressing it shock towards the silence from both parties about this crisis, it recorded and demanding the following:
1- I.C.S.P.R. Calls on the international community and all humanitarian organizations to intervene and pressure at the Israeli State to stop the siege and the systematic violations of residents at Gaza Strip, and to meet its moral and legal obligations towards civilians in Gaza Strip, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
2- I.C.S.P.R. endure all Palestinian and international parties the legal responsibility by the catastrophic consequences of continuing the current electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip.
3- I.C.S.P.R demand the competent official authorities need to accountability of energy and natural resources authority Chief, and his vice in Gaza Strip, given the apparent hesitation in finding a solution to the electricity crisis.
4- I.C.S.P.R demands the Palestinian Authorities, putting electricity crisis in Gaza Strip, on the agenda of its meetings and make a decision to lift blue tax or other taxes on industrial fuel allotted to run the company, and to run 161 lines of the Israeli network.
5- I.C.S.P.R demands the international community with all humanitarian organizations and Arab and Islamic countries, to intervene in order to end the electricity crisis in Gaza Strip, by all possible means including speediness procedures to link Electric Company with eighth grid, or accomplish the project of generating electricity with natural gas.