Palestinians protest in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on September 14, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Gaza demonstration
Palestinian protest in Gaza

Gaza residents protest power crisis on Sept. 14, 2015. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Gaza residents have had barely any electricity for days as a result of a power struggle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Many residents say they prefer Israeli governance to Hamas’ rule.

A power struggle between Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has left the residents of the Strip without electricity.

The coastal enclave has been experiencing a severe energy crisis over the past few days. Sources inside Gaza’s energy authority said Wednesday that the total supply was now covering only 30 percent of the population’s minimum needs, and most residents have electricity for only eight hours a day.

Gaza’s energy authority reports that two lines feeding Gaza from Israel and Egypt are both down.

In recent days, Gaza’s power station has also been struggling to maintain its output due to both fuel shortages and lack of funds, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports.

electricity crisis in gaza

A Palestinian man sits with his grandson as he uses a candle light during a RECENT power cut in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The energy crisis has brought people to the streets to protest the crisis, with Gaza residents calling for the resignation of PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s government.

Gaza’s energy authority has blamed the power plant’s low output on taxes imposed by the PA’s petroleum authority. Hamas collects its own taxes,and the milking of Gaza’s residents is Hamas’ main source of income.

An inability to cover these costs forced the power station to close earlier this year for more than a month. It has not run at full capacity for years.

We Prefer Israel Over Hamas

Commenting on the current crisis, local residents told Israel’s Channel 2 they would prefer Israeli governance to Hamas’ rule in Gaza. “Israel is better than Hamas. Electricity is what everyone is talking about. The entire public in Gaza is talking about the distress,” one resident said.

“They have no mercy,” added Ibrahim. “Whoever speaks out is taken to prison for a year or two.”

Hamas has threatened to use force against the protesters.

The power struggle between Hamas and the PA has become a real burden for Gaza’s residents, who suffer the consequences.

“I live in Rafah, there is electricity for four hours, and then we have none for 20 hours,” Majdi said. “The refrigerator does not work, we can’t keep meat, there is no air conditioning. Living in a tent would be better. It is better to live in a tent and not at home.”

By: United with Israel Staff

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