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Official: Israel deliberately disconnects Gaza electricity

Nov. 28, 2011 2:05 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 30, 2011 10:36 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- The energy authority in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a "punitive policy."

"The Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting a grid which provides 14 megawatts to the northern Gaza Strip," head of the energy authority Kanaan Ubeid said.

He added that electricity had been cut off to the north for nine days.

The current power crisis in Gaza is also being caused by the cold weather, which has seen a surge in energy use, and maintenance works being carried out by Swedish engineers, Ubeid added.

Israel continues to supply the Gaza Strip with water and 70 percent of its electrical power, the rest being supplied by neighboring Egypt or local power plants.

Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival parties Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government.

AFP contributed to this report
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