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Egypt has stepped up projects to provide free electricity to the Gaza Strip following a strategic IDF attack on an electrical power plant, a manager from the national Egyptian electricity company said Tuesday.
The grid in the Egyptian border town of Rafah has been connected to the Palestinian side and provides 5 Megawatts of current, or the equivalent of a US $150,000 donation, Mahmoud Abdel Mougdi told The Associated Press.
The manager said Egypt's electricity company was also working on a larger project that would supply 12 Megawatts of power, fed to the whole Gaza Strip through underground cables connected to a power plant near the Egyptian town of El-Arish.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed foreign press in Jerusalem on Monday that 70 percent of Gazans still had electricity, and explained that the IDF had targeted the power plant in an attempt to prevent terror operatives holding IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit captive from smuggling him out of the Gaza Strip.
The Egyptian project, which should begin operating this month, will represent a subsidy of over US $2 million, Mougdi said.
The 1.4 million people living in Gaza contend with widespread power outages of 12 to 18 hours a day, and generators, which can only make up for a fraction of the lost power, are using up much of the available fuel.