Does UN obligate Israel to supply Gaza electricity for free?
Dr. Aaron Lerner 19 May 2017
IMRA asked: it the position of the Humanitarian Coordinator that Israel is
obligated to supply electricity to the Gaza Strip regardless of it is paid
for the electricity?
Robert Piper, UN Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace
Process and the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian
Territory responded: "All three are duty bearers and all three share
obligations to the citizens of Gaza."
Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator on the electricity crisis in Gaza
Gaza has been experiencing a severe electricity crisis since mid-April, when
the Gaza Power Plant went silent due to a dispute between the Palestinian
Authority and Hamas in Gaza over tax rates for the fuel needed at the plant.
Since mid-April, electricity levels have fluctuated between about 100 and
150 Megawatts. In practical terms, this means that most households and
services in Gaza receive electricity from the grid for at most, four hours
at a time, followed by a 12 hour power-cut.
Gaza has been chronically deprived of electricity for at least a decade. But
we are reaching the end of the fifth week in which a chronic crisis has
become acute. These kinds of levels of electricity have a grave impact on
the supply of safe drinking water, on the treatment and management of
sewerage, on the availability of health services, on businesses, on schools,
and much more.
Gaza’s most vulnerable citizens are paying the highest price during this
crisis. No household in Gaza is untouched, but the situation of patients on
dialysis, disabled persons living in apartment buildings without reliable
elevators or water supply and the elderly is especially precarious.
There are indications that the electricity situation will deteriorate
further still next week. These new developments will deepen even further the
The Palestinian Authority, Hamas - which has controlled Gaza for a decade -
and Israel as the Occupying Power, all have obligations for the welfare of
Gaza's residents and must live up to their responsibilities.
I urge all parties to come together to reverse the current trajectory
towards another major humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
For more information, please contact:
Ofir Feurestein at +972 (0) 54 3311 836