Israel did not comply with UN call to stop settlements

The Palestinian Energy Authority told Reuters the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) cut eight megawatts of the 120 megawatts it usually supplies to Gaza.

The Israeli government has reduced power to the region to just four hours a day, leaving two-million residents in darkness.

The move comes after Israel's security cabinet said it would reduce its supply of electricity to Gaza, in response to a request made by the Palestinian Authority.

In a statement, the electric company confirmed it had begun to reduce supplies on Monday and said shipments would be scaled back gradually, "so that the electricity supply will match the financial commitment". The PA said that it will only pay 70% of Gaza's electricity bill, which could lead to an outbreak of violence and a humanitarian crisis. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Providing electricity to the Gaza Strip is an internal Palestinian issue".

Israel's electricity power plant in Ashkelon is seen as people bath near kibbutz Zikim, on the Israel Gaza Border, Monday, June 19, 2017.

Cutting power to Gaza was characterized by the Times as one of a number of steps taken by the PA to force "Hamas to cede control of the Strip, or begin footing the bill itself".

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) had blamed Hamas's failure to reimburse it for electricity for the reduction in power supplies.

In the absence of funding from the Palestinian Authority, money will need to come from the worldwide community or private donors.

Hundreds of tons of fuel oil for Gaza's one power station, now not functioning, is on the way, according to Safa news agency, which is connected to Hamas.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory. The power reductions come despite stark warnings of the humanitarian implications for Gazan civilians, who already suffer from critical shortages of power - with most homes receiving only a few hours even before the cut. Gaza needs about 400 megawatts to meet its daily needs.

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