An Israeli Cabinet member Sunday said the Gaza Strip should have to go without electricity this summer if warnings of potential power shortages come to pass.
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said on Army Radio that Gaza has its own power plants and it would be "absurd" for Israel to continue exporting electricity to the area at the same time Israel could be facing blackouts.
"As the Environmental Protection Ministry is warning against a possible 'electricity drought,' steps are being made to counter it, including possible stops of service," Erdan said. "There is no question … Gaza first."
Israel exports about 4 percent of the power it produces into Gaza, which Erdan said would be enough to cover any potential shortages inside Israel this summer.
Even though Israel and Gaza have officially "disengaged" their affairs, Erdan said there were still potential legal ramifications over pulling the plug on exports to Gaza. Erdan said cutting exports would be as a result of need rather than a "collective punishment" of Gaza's sweltering civilian population.
Haaretz said Erdan blasted the Hamas government in Gaza for allegedly punishing its own population by cutting off power to some civilians while keeping the lights on in areas where it enjoys higher levels of political support.
Meanwhile, Israel's energy minister called for an increase in rooftop solar capacity of 30 megawatts to help relieve the strain on Israel's power plants, The Jerusalem Post said.
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