Hi, Hamas. Israel would love to help you with your little electrical problem but we won’t be able to repair it today, tomorrow doesn’t look good either. You see, we’re kind of busy fighting a war right now. Call us when you run out of rockets and we’ll do lunch.
INN Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the IEC not to risk the lives of its employees in trying to restore power. The Palestinian Authority currently owes the Israel Electric Company NIS 1.5 billion ($525 million) in unpaid bills for electricity.
Last month, the IEC filed a petition with the High Court demanding to be allowed to shut off electricity to the Palestinian Authority until the debt was paid – or to allow the IEC to seize customs and aid payments collected on behalf of the PA to pay off its debt. That case is still pending.
Seventy thousand Gazans from Khan Younis and Deir el-Balah were in the dark Sunday night after a Hamas rocket hit the power line that supplies electricity to those places. It’s not clear when Israel Electric Company workers will be able to repair the system, but they are apparently in no rush to do so. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked the IEC not to risk the lives of its employees in trying to restore power to the affected sector in Gaza, an operation that could take hours.
As Operation Protective Edge enters its seventh day, many Israelis are demanding that the country take more aggressive action against Hamas in order to put a halt to the seemingly endless missile attacks from Gaza. One suggestion that has come up numerous times is cutting off electricity to Gaza,which Israel is still supplying. The Hamas missile, which hit one of the high tension wires that move power from Israel to Gaza, apparently made that a moot point, at least partially.
Meanwhile, the IEC is still supplying electricity to Gaza, under orders from the government.