Egypt denies Gaza power agreement

J'lem officials: Cairo agreed to build power line to Gaza, become main electricity supplier to the Strip.

Gaza dark 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Gaza dark 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Egypt denied Israeli reports that it has agreed to supply the Gaza Strip with electricity, Israel Radio reported Thursday. Earlier, Israeli defense officials said they've worked out a tentative deal for Egypt to become the main electricity supplier to the Gaza Strip. The officials said the agreement stems from Israel's desire to cut off all ties with the Gaza Strip. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but remains the area's main power supplier. The deal must still be finalized. But when it's complete, Egypt is expected to build a power line to supply 150 megawatts to Gaza. Israel has imposed a blockade on the territory in recent months in an effort to force Gaza's Hamas rulers to stop rocket fire into southern Israel. The Israeli sanctions include small cuts in electricity supplies. Currently, Israel supplies more than 70 percent of Gaza's electricity. Though it does not specifically say so, this agreement will cease Israel's supply of electricity to Gaza. In early 2008 Israel decided to reduce the amount of electricity supplied to Gaza, protesting the continued Kassam rocket fire on Israel.