We’re supplying electricity to Gaza under Qassam fire

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 Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) workers’ committee chairman, Miko Zarfati, livid at claims that Palestinians facing power shortage, saying his organization supplying vast majority of electricity to Strip

Tani Goldstein

Published: 01.21.08, 00:44 / Israel News

var agt=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();var is_major = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);var is_ie = ((agt.indexOf(“msie”) != -1) && (agt.indexOf(“opera”) == -1));var is_ie5 = (is_ie && (is_major == 4) && (agt.indexOf(“msie 5.0″)!=-1) ); function txt_link(type,url,urlAtts) { switch (type){ case ‘external’ : if( urlAtts != ” ) {var x = window.open(unescape(url),’newWin’,urlAtts)} else {document.location = unescape(url);} break; case ‘article’ : urlStr = ‘/articles/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’;url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; case ‘yaan’ : urlStr = ‘/yaan/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’;url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; case ‘category’ : urlStr = ‘/home/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’; url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; } } function setDbLinkCategory(url) {eval(unescape(url));} The Israeli Electric Company (IEC) is supplying nearly 70% of electricity to the Gaza Strip despite Palestinians’ claims of a power shortage in Gaza, said Miko Zarfati, the chairman of the workers’ committee at the power company.

“This is Palestinian spin. No one has stopped the supply of electricity to the Strip,” Zarfati told Ynet. He claimed that his employees worked day and night in a power plant in Ashkelon while putting themselves in danger of being hit by Qassam rockets falling in the area.

The Gaza power plant only produces 30% of the electricity consumed in the Strip while Israel supplies the rest.

“It is simply offensive and arrogant for them to claim that there is shortage,” Zarfati said.

The IEC employee was upset that Israel continues to supply electricity to Gaza while the Qassam rockets continue to land in the western Negev.

“The situation is totally absurd. We’re continuing to supply them electricity despite the (demand) overload for electricity in Israel and despite the fact that Israeli residents and Electric Company workers that are being sent to Gaza Vicinity communities are under threat from Qassam rockets,” Zarfati railed.

“The Electric Company sends people to fix power outages that are caused from the Qassam barrages everyday in Sderot and the Gaza vicinity and more than one worker has already been injured in these rocket attacks.”

According to Zarafti, the workers have been pressuring him to cut off the flow of electricity to the Strip: “I am being pressured to disconnect the electricity, but I am of course a law-abiding man and I cannot do this.

The decision to disconnect the electricity to Gaza is a decision which can only be made by the Israeli government and I understand the consideration sagainst shutting off the power.”

The workers’ committee chairman has been thinking of ways to improve the lives of the employees on the front line. “I explode with anger and feel hopeless in the face of the workers’ situation and in the face of the whole situation in the Gaza vicinity and in Ashkelon,” Zarfati continued.

“I appealed to the Finance Ministry and asked them to approve a plan to reward these employees in some way, a few cents for everything they’re going through. Unfortunately, I received a negative response.”

The Treasury responded saying “no precedents will be created with regards to salary bonuses for workers living in dangerous areas.”

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