Israel reduces power supply to Hamas-ruled Gaza

Israel’s national electric company on Monday cut back its already limited electricity shipments to the Gaza Strip, a step that is expected to worsen the power crunch plaguing the Hamas-controlled seaside territory.

The company confirmed the Israeli government instructed it to reduce supply to Gaza at the request of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ government in the West Bank.

Abbas recently told Israel he would cut payments for Gaza’s electricity. Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas’ forces a decade ago, and the internationally recognized Palestinian leader is trying to step up pressure on the Islamic militant group to cede power.

With Gaza’s small power plant out of commission, and Israel providing a fraction of what the territory needs, residents have been scraping by with about four hours of electricity a day.

Mohammed Thabet of the Gaza electricity distribution company said Gaza’s roughly 2 million residents could expect to receive even less power.

“There is nothing … that we can do,” he said.

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