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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Palestinian/ Israeli update 6/13/2017...Netanyahu decides to cut off electricity to 2 million people

Gazans slam Israeli calls for dismantling of UNRWA

Israel approves Palestinian move to pressure Hamas with electricity cuts

Israel has approved a request by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to cut by roughly a third the electricity it provides to the Gaza Strip. The move is aimed at undermining the Islamic militant group Hamas, which has controlled Gaza for the last decade. But the decision reached Sunday by Israel’s security Cabinet is stoking concern that it could trigger a humanitarian crisis among Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians and a new round of fighting between Hamas and Israel.

In a statement on Monday afternoon responding to news of the Israeli decision, Hamas said that power cuts are “dangerous” and would lead to an “explosion.” Gaza already suffers from chronic power shortages, which affect businesses, household water supply, sewage treatment and hospital services. The daily residential supply of electricity fell from 12 hours to four hours this year after Abbas cut funding for power and the fuel to run Gaza’s lone power plant. Families in Gaza have been holding iftar, the meal to break their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, by candlelight.

The new cuts would reduce the daily electricity supply to between two and three hours. The approval by Israel follows an announcement by Abbas’ Western-backed Palestinian Authority in April that it was cutting back its purchase of power for Gaza by $12 million a month. It remained unclear when the cuts would take effect.

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