Gaza City power plant
Gaza City power plant Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of energy, Zafar Mulham, revealed in an interview with the Hamas-affiliated Palestine newspaper that talks had recently been held with Israel in an effort to improve the supply of electricity in Gaza.

Mulham noted that the PA intends to rehabilitate the electricity system in Gaza, but this depends on contacts with Israel regarding the supply of equipment needed for the electricity grid and other technical matters.

He added that the PA had discussed with Israel the issue of increasing the supply of electricity to Gaza from 75 megawatts to 120 megawatts, but it will take time to complete the process.

Gaza's sole power plant consumes diesel and supplies about 60 megawatts of electricity. Egypt also supplies electricity to the enclave.

Several months ago, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas tried to pressure Gaza's Hamas rulers to return control of Gaza to his Fatah movement, most notably by cutting electricity supplies to Gaza through Israel.

Recently, however, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement aimed at ending a decade of hostilities which began when Hamas violently took control of Gaza in 2007.

As part of the reconciliation deal, the PA is to resume full control of Gaza by December 1. PA leader Rami Hamdallah recently acknowledged, however, that bringing Gaza back under the control of the PA is proving difficult due to issues related to border security.