Cut Gaza power supply to boost Israel grid: Minister
Israel should consider cutting its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip this summer if it experiences power shortages, Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan said yesterday.
Erdan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, outlined the proposal in a letter to ministers, who were scheduled to discuss the issue in their Sunday cabinet meeting.
"If there are power shortages in Israel this summer, the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip should be halted... It represents 4.5 percent of Israeli production," the letter said.
Fawzi Barhum, spokesman of the Islamist movement Hamas which controls Gaza, said Erdan's "threats... exposed the true face of the occupation."
The Gaza Strip experienced its worst electricity crisis in memory this year, as the supply of fuel smuggled from Egypt dwindled, forcing the closure of the coastal territory's sole power plant.
The crisis led to power cuts of up to 18 hours a day, but eased somewhat after a deal last month between Gaza's Hamas government and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, which agreed to supply Gaza with fuel purchased from Israel.