Ref: 119/2011

 

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
condemns the prevention of technical crews from repairing one of the major
lines that carry electricity from Israel to the Gaza Strip by Israeli
authorities.  The line has been disrupted
for 13 days which has resulted in aggravating the electricity crisis affecting
the Gaza strip and increasing the power shortage by 37.3%.  PCHR is concerned over the consequences of
the continued disruption of the line, especially increasing hours of
electricity outages and the resulting impact on daily services provided to the
Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.

 

Mr. Jamal al-Dirdissawi, Director of Public
Relations in Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO), stated to PCHR that
on 17 November 2011, one of the major lines that carry electricity from Israel
to the Gaza Strip was disrupted near the northern border.  According to al-Dirdissawi, this line
provides 12 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip. The Israeli authorities
have not allowed the Israeli supplier or Palestinian technical crews to have
access to the line to repair it.  The
prevention of repairs to the damaged line coincides with threats made by Dani
Ayalon, Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister, that Israel is examining the
possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure
in response to the Palestinian reconciliation meeting in Cairo.

 

According to continuing investigations
conducted by PCHR on the power crisis in the Gaza Strip, this disruption in the
line coincides with a reduction of 20 megawatts of power from Gaza Power
Generation Plan as a result of the periodical maintenance works conducted in
the Plant at this time of the year and the increasing demand on electricity
because of the cold winter season.

 

According to Eng. Ahmed Abu al-Amarin, Director
of the Palestinian Power Authority’s Power Information Center, the Gaza Strip
needs approximately 300 megawatts of electricity and the current shortage
effects more than one third of Gaza’s power needs (112 megawatts representing
37.3% of total need).  Currently, 188
megawatts of electricity is provided to the Gaza Strip as follows: 108
megawatts from Israel, 63 megawatts generated by Gaza Power Generation Plant
and 17 megawatts supplied by Egypt.

 

Due to the above reasons, GEDCO has been forced
to work in accordance with an emergency plan with electricity outages lasting
for eight hours daily, which decrease to four hours if the turn of outage comes
after midnight.

 


PCHR is seriously concerned over the power
crisis that continues to affect the Gaza Strip and:

 

1- Stresses that the population in the Gaza Strip are classified as
civilians who are granted protection under the international human rights law
and international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention;

2- Calls upon the international community to compel the Israeli occupation
authorities to comply with the rules of the international law and to put an end
to the imposition of collective penalties on the civilian population;

3- Calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the
government of Israel to prevent the aggravation of the electricity crisis in
the Gaza Strip and to allow technical crews to repair the disrupted electricity
line, as part of Israel’s moral and legal responsibility to protect the
fundamental human rights of the civilian population who are under occupation.