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Israel to resume electricity sales to Gaza

Israel will resume the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Energy Authority said Sunday.

In a statement, the authority said 50 megawatts of electricity will be supplied to Gaza by Israeli authorities on Sunday.

The move came after the Ramallah-based Palestinian government decided last week to resume payments for electricity delivered to the blockaded seaside territory after being cut earlier in 2017.

Until Saturday, the power supply system in Gaza was operating 3-4 hours a day.

With the return of electricity, the power capacity in Gaza rises to about 210 megawatts, representing 46 percent of the actual needs of 450 MW, with a daily operating rate of 7 hours.

Last April, the Palestinian government stopped paying for electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip, which was run at the time by Hamas.

Home to more than two million Palestinians, the Israeli-blockaded coastal enclave continues to suffer from a crippling electricity crisis.

The chronic energy shortfall has forced local authorities to adopt a makeshift "rotation" system by which power is cut in some parts of the strip so it might be provided in others.

Israel currently provides the Gaza Strip with 120 megawatts of electricity, while Egypt provides it with another 32 megawatts.

Gaza's sole functioning power plant is able to generate only 60 megawatts, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority.

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