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Gaza reels as power crisis continues to leave its population in darkness

The power crisis and its roots in the Gaza Strip have stirred a heated debate involving mutual accusations between the PA and Hamas, while Palestinians take to the streets to protest the growing problem.
A Palestinian man sells falafel in a makeshift shop lit with a lamp powered by a battery during a power cut in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip January 11, 2017. Picture taken January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem - RTX2YNDX

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The power crisis is still disrupting the daily life of Gazans, sparking mutual accusations over its causes between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Ramallah’s Energy and Natural Resources Authority on the one hand, and between Hamas and its Energy Authority in the Gaza Strip on the other. Meanwhile, 50% of Gaza’s daily electricity needs are not being met.

Exacerbated in the cold winter due to heavy power consumption, the crisis first began when Israel bombed the only power plant in the central Gaza Strip on Jan. 28, 2006. As a result, most cities and camps in the Gaza Strip were left in darkness, with more than 700,000 Gazans deprived of electricity for days. Thus, the issue of renovating and developing this power plant, along with other power sources, has stirred political tension between the PA and Hamas.

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