Southern Gaza is in a total electricity blackout, and even the Palestinian Authority news outlet Maan admits it's not Israel's fault.
Though reports of electricity shortages in Gaza are generally accompanied by unjustified finger-pointing at Israel for the situation, today's report by Maan barely mentioned Israel at all. Instead, it implied – though did not say it straight out – that the responsibility for the new situation lies squarely on the shoulders of Egypt.
The last power line from Egypt to Gaza was disconnected on Saturday, Maan reported, without specifying clearly who did the disconnecting. A full electric blackout is now in effect in the areas of Rafah, on the Gaza-Egypt border, and the city of Khan Yunis - adjacent to the former site of N'vei Dekalim, the largest town in what was the Jewish block of Gush Katif.
The smaller towns of Gadid and Gan-Or were also located within firing distance of Khan Yunis, and in fact often suffered rocket attacks from that city.
Gaza’s electricity company announced that the two lines that fed electricity from Egypt to southern Gaza, at a capacity of 20-24 megawatts, have now been completely disconnected by Egypt. The first one was disabled two weeks ago, leading to rationing of "six hours on, 12 hours off" for all districts in Gaza.
Adding to Gaza's troubles, the area was left almost entirely without power during a number of days last month due to maintenance work on power lines "from both Israel and Egypt." Ongoing tax disputes between PA officials and the Gaza districts also play a role in the power shortages.
Earlier this month, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhari apportioned indirect blame to Israel for the deaths by fire of three children in Gaza, because the fire was caused by candles lit for light in a blacked-out house.
Despite PA debts of millions of shekels to the Israel Electric Company for electricity supplied to Arab-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, the Supreme Court issued a restraining order against detaching PA cities from the electric grid until further notice. Gaza, on the other hand, has its payments to Israel deducted automatically in advance for whatever electricity it receives.