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Egyptian power lines to Rafah disconnected for maintenance

Feb. 6, 2016 12:48 P.M. (Updated: March 8, 2016 9:58 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – An Egyptian electricity company which supplies power to the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday notified Gaza that two main grids would be disconnected in Rafah city.

Sources in the Rafah office of Gaza’s electricity company told Ma’an that the grids feeding Rafah city were disconnected due  to maintenance activity in Station 66 in El-Arish city across borderline with the Gaza Strip.

The cut in power came shortly after one of Gaza’s power plant generators was turned off Friday afternoon due to a fuel shortage, the sources said.

The two lines disconnected Saturday supplied Rafah residents with 20 megawatts of electricity, the sources added.

Gaza’s over 1.8 million residents struggle with constant power shortages in the besieged enclave. The strip’s sole power plant has suffered from chronic shortages due to the crippling Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave and has not run at full capacity in years.

The power plant alongside Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids fail to cover the territory's energy needs.

The Gaza Strip also suffers from shortage of gas -- used daily by Palestinians in Gaza for both cooking and heating -- as the quantities allowed to be shipped in are not sufficient to resident's needs. Such shortages become pronounced throughout the winter months when the need for electricity increases.

Tens of thousands of families in Gaza last year -- left homeless after Israel’s 2014 offensive on the strip -- struggled to stay warm amid a severe shortage of electricity and fuel for generators or heaters.
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