UN: Gazans should not ‘held hostage’ over power crisis


Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 20 April 2017| 22 Rajab 1438

The United Nations’ Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said on Wednesday that residents of Gaza should not be held as “hostages” during an ongoing energy crisis that he blamed both Palestinian-controlled institutions for as well as Israel.

Commenting on the electricity crisis in Gaza, Mladenov said in a statement: “I am following with great concern the tense situation in Gaza, where a new energy crisis is now unfolding.”

He continued: The social, economic and political consequences of this impending energy crisis should not be underestimated. Palestinians in Gaza, who live in a protracted humanitarian crisis, can no longer be held hostage by disagreements, divisions and closures.

Mladenov blamed the electricity crisis on the need to reform the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, noting it is “essential to improve revenue collection and transparency in line with international standards.”

The UN official also blamed the Israeli occupation for the crisis, saying: “Israel also has a significant responsibility to assist by facilitating the entry of materials for repairs and maintenance of the grid and power plant. Egyptian power lines to Gaza also need to be repaired and upgraded.”

Concluding his statement, he said: “I call on all parties, including the international community, to come together and ensure this vital issue of energy for Gaza is resolved once and for all. The United Nations stands ready to provide its support in achieving this vital goal.”

Source – MEMO