Gazan Rocket Knocks Out Power– for 70,000 Gazans

Gazan Rocket Knocks Out Power– for 70,000 Gazans

A rocket fired from Gaza knocked out a power line in Israel that supplied electricity to 70,000 Gazans, according to the Israel Defense Forces Spokesman’s Office on Sunday night.

The Jerusalem Post reports that the outage was caused by shrapnel from the rocket fire that hit the high voltage line that feeds electricity into Gaza, the Israel Electric Corporation said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom instructed IEC chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal to refrain from endangering the lives of IEC workers capable of fixing the outage, according to the company.

“For this reason, the IEC intends to fix the problem,” a company spokeswoman said. “However, in light of the security situation, and the great danger that we foresee for the lives of the IEC workers in the event if they perform the repair under fire, the problem will be fixed as soon as possible in terms of security.”

Even under fire from Gaza, Israel continues to provide most of Gaza’s water supply, electricity and communications infrastructure. Convoys of trucks bring goods and humanitarian aid to Gaza daily through Israel’s Keren Shalom Crossing.

In 2013, 1.2 million liters of fuel were transferred through Kerem Shalom, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, including diesel fuel for transportation, fuel for Gaza’s own power station, and household gas. 

Israel also provides 100 megawatts of electricity to Gaza on a regular basis. Much of that electricity is officially purchased for Gaza by the Palestinian Authority (PA), although the bill for that electricity generally goes unpaid. Israel is owed nearly half a billion dollars for unpaid electric bills.