Report: Israel to Increase Electricity Supply to Gaza
Deputy Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) energy authority, Fathi Al-Sheikh Khalil, said Thursday he had received "encouraging information" that Israel has agreed to supply 100 additional megawatts of electricity to Gaza.
In the coming two weeks discussion regarding funding for the electricity will be held, Khalil told the Saudi Press Agency.
Currently Israel supplies Gaza with 120 megawatts, with an additional 27 coming from Egypt. The additional electricity aims to aid Gaza's power crisis, in which residents have 6 hours of electricity followed by a 12 hour blackout.
Gaza's sole power plant shut down November 1, but was restarted in mid December on fuel purchased from Israel by the Palestinian Authority, using money donated by Qatar.
Khalil added that the PA raised the tax on industrial gas for power plants in Gaza, increasing the hours of power outage as Hamas refused to pay the increased price. Qatar recently pledged to transfer $10 million a month to cover the tax.
Hamas recently approved its 2014 budget, which features an estimated annual deficit of $589 million.