Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has approved Tuesday the construction of a high-voltage electrical line connecting the Israeli city of Netivot and the Gaza Strip in order to help restore electricity there.
The line, planned to be 9.5 kilometers (6 miles) long is supposed to supply the Gaza strip with 50 megawatts of power and will be funded entirely by the Palestinian Authority. The funds for the project will most likely be taken from the taxes Israel has been withholding from the Palestinian Authority since Hamas came to power.
Currently, the residents of the Gaza Strip are suffering from a massive shortage in electricity since the IDF bombed Gaza's only generation plant. Normally, the residents of Gaza consume about 200 megawatts of electricity, 110 of which are supplied by Israel and 90 are self generated.
The line was planned even before Hamas came to power in the Palestinian Authority but was suspended after the Israeli government decided to freeze all related projects.
According to sources in the ministry of Infrastructure, Ben-Eliezer decided to renew the project in an effort to ease the humanitarian suffering of the residents of Gaza. "The lack of electricity in Gaza is creating a huge humanitarian problem among the residents," Ben-Eliezer said.