Experts and community members talk about the Gaza Strip’s electrical issue, its effects, and potential solutions at a workshop organized by (Hashd).

Experts and community members talk about the Gaza Strip’s electrical issue, its effects, and potential solutions at a workshop organized by (Hashd).

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Reference number: 70/2023
Date: August 9, 2023
Native language: Arabic

Press release

During a workshop organized by (Hashd).
Experts and community members talk about the Gaza Strip’s electrical issue, its effects, and potential solutions.

Palestinian specialists and experts discussed the Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis, its causes, and effects, as well as the suggested solutions and mitigation measures that would be compatible with the political and economic context of the Strip and have a positive impact on its citizens.
The participants called for concerted efforts by the government, the electricity company, and the private sector to mitigate the crisis, work to solve it, and assume actual supervision of commercial electric generators, emphasizing the need to address the international community to pressure the occupying country to increase the amount of electricity reaching the sector, emphasizing the importance of providing all capabilities and employing possible efforts to generalize the crisis.
This took place at The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights’ “Hashd” workshop, which was attended by plenty of academics, researchers, and activists at the Commission’s headquarters in Gaza.
Lawyer Rana Abu Hudaib welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of the meeting, which came in light of the exacerbation of the Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis and its interruption for long periods during the summer weather, noting that the electricity crisis was exacerbated by the blockade imposed on Gaza, in addition to the repercussions of the Palestinian division, which negatively affected the Finding solutions to the crisis.
Engineer Jalal Ismail, head of the Gaza Energy Authority, indicated that residents saw an improvement in the electricity schedule following the operation of the fourth turbine and that more initiatives, including solar energy projects, are in the works.
According to Ismail, the Gaza Strip’s electrical system is divided into three sectors: generating (represented by the power plant), transportation (represented by the Energy Authority), and distribution (represented by the Gaza Electrical Distribution Company). Ismail stated that the distribution company receives 120 megawatts from “Israeli” lines, 1-2 megawatts from renewable (solar) energy, and 105 megawatts generated by the Gaza station, noting that Egyptian lines have been suspended since 2018.
Ismail emphasized that these sources cannot cover the Gaza Strip’s electricity supply 24 hours a day, pointing out that the real distribution schedule is now 8/8 with a very light deficit at peak loads and according to the weather, and there is an increase in the schedule in the evening period that varies by region. He explained that the Gaza Energy Resources Department requires modernizing the network and moving to the smart grid to reduce it.
He emphasized that the money collected from subscribers is used to develop the old network, which is more than 60 years old, as well as to pay for the financial expenses incurred while waiting for the company to implement development energy projects such as the Egyptian lines or the gas line.
He went on to say, “There is a gas line project that is likely to provide the sector with approximately 300 megawatts by 2026, provided that this ratio rises to 500 megawatts by 2029, which requires the electricity distribution company to have a large financial balance that helps it to develop the system to absorb this amount of energy.”
Mr. Talal Abu Zarifa, member of the Democratic Front’s Political Bureau, stated that “the electricity crisis will continue as long as there are no serious solutions within the framework of alleviating the burdens placed on the shoulders of the Palestinian people, and also without developing the electricity network and improving infrastructure, which is the responsibility of the electricity company and the Energy Authority.”
“The occupation and the division bear responsibility for the repercussions of the electricity crisis,” he added, emphasizing the need for creative solutions to be found at the Palestinian national level, pointing to the need for these solutions to be provided by concerned authorities such as the Electricity Company and the Energy Authority.
In light of the current state of poverty and unemployment, he emphasized the need for the electricity company to implement solutions that alleviate the burdens of citizens, including the smart meter crisis, which had significant repercussions on poor families, calling on the electricity company to reconsider the issue of the smart meter, even if the deduction of old debts from Recharge card, and to be more transparent and clear in the money that is collected from consumers.
According to Abu Zarifa, the value of recharge cards for disadvantaged families should be 50 shekels, be permanent rather than a loan, and be increased to 100 shekels each month.
In turn, Dr. Salah Abdel Atie, head of The international Commission “Hashd,” said that the Gaza Strip’s electricity crisis is exacerbating in tandem with the current heat wave; in a scene that has been repeated annually for seventeen years without the ability to find meaningful solutions that rely on achieving the public interest and go beyond the patchwork method that has proven ineffective.
He stated that this crisis has created a state of general discontent among large sectors of Palestinian society in the Strip as a result of the continuous introduction of the Palestinian citizen into such circumstances over the past years, and under justifications that have become unacceptable to the citizen who has been burdened by successive crises of electric current, and what it results in citizen suffering and a health and environmental catastrophe.
As a militarily occupied zone, Abdel Ati emphasized the Israeli occupation’s fundamental obligation to supply all that would enable and safeguard the lives of the Gaza Strip’s residents. He urged the appropriate authorities to intervene constructively in order to find an immediate solution to the electrical situation, especially given the current conditions. This includes nationalizing and developing power producing and distribution corporations, increasing reliance on solar energy, assuring access to electricity for the poor and needy, and standardizing smart meter pricing.
He held all Palestinian parties legally responsible for the disastrous consequences of the current electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip, urging the international community and all humanitarian organizations to intervene immediately to put pressure on the Israeli military occupation to end its systematic policies against the Gaza Strip.
Dr. Abd El Atie urged the international community, including all humanitarian organizations, the Palestinian Authority, and Arab and Islamic countries, to intervene urgently to lift the blockade and sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip and work to end the power outage crisis in the Gaza Strip through all possible and available means, including reconnecting the power line with Egypt, increasing the amount received, and connecting the Gaza electricity network to the eight electrified power lines.


The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (Hashd)

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