A Palestinian woman warms herself by a fire during a power cut at her house in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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Normally, Gaza's power alternates on eight-hour cycles, with generators providing electricity to those that can afford it in the down times.The cause of the shortage is on the one hand simple and on the other complicated, with some citizens blaming Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, Hamas officials blaming the rival Palestinian Authority, based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and still others pointing the finger at Israel.The simple explanation is that Gaza requires 450-500 megawatts of power a day but is receiving barely a third of that. About 30 MW is produced by its own aging power plant, 30 MW imported from Egypt and 120 MW supplied from Israel.The Palestinian Authority, which pays for power supplied by Israel and Egypt, normally transfers fuel to Gaza and exempts it from most taxes.Tarek Lubbad, spokesman of the power company, said Gaza normally needed 450 MW a day but that had increased due to high winter demand, and warned of deeper cuts to come.
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