Palestinian government says Gaza power supply to be restored

January 3, 2018

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 file photo, a Palestinian sweet vendor pushes his cart, during a power outage at the main street in Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip. The Palestinian government in the West Bank has announced electricity supplies will be restored to the Gaza Strip months after it asked Israel to cut them. (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Palestinian government in the West Bank says it will restore the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip after it asked Israel to cut it off last summer.

Israel, the main provider of power to Gaza, cut supplies in June at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who was trying to pressure Hamas. The Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007 after driving Abbas’ forces out.

Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh said Wednesday that his committee, which liaises with Israel, has requested that the power be restored.

The cutoff left the coastal territory with just four hours of power a day, and blackouts have worsened this winter. Hamas called the power cuts collective punishment.

It’s unclear whether the decision is linked to a slow-moving Palestinian reconciliation process.

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