Israel is set to increase its supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip in order to help enable the Palestinians to operate a new sewage treatment plant there and to reduce water pollution affecting Israel.
Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz recently approved the new initiative to supply Gaza with electricity, according to Yedioth Ahronoth. Large amounts of raw sewage have been flowing into the Mediterranean Sea recently that has forced one of Israel’s largest desalination plants in the southern city of Ashkelon to shut down numerous times due to high water pollution levels.
Through the assistance of international donors such as the World Bank, a $100 million sewage treatment plant was built in Gaza. But Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that controls Gaza, has failed to allocate the necessary electricity to operate the facility and instead has let raw sewage to be periodically dumped in the Mediterranean or seep into the ground, leading to pollution in underground aquifers.
Further, infighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has hampered efforts to expand Gaza’s electricity supply.