Israel to end Gaza electricity, water dependency
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Thursday with visiting French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, telling her Israel will work to end Gaza's dependency on his country, his office said.
"During their conversation... Netanyahu said that Israel would strive to disengage from the Gaza Strip with regard to infrastructure utilities like electricity and water," a statement from his office said, providing no further details.
Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but still supplies some 70 percent of the strip's electricity, with the rest being provided by Egypt and local power plants.
It also supplies fuel for the local plants through the Palestinian Authority.
It was not immediately clear where Gaza would get its electricity if Israel cuts off supplies. In the past, Israel has tried to use electricity cuts as a way to pressure Gaza's Hamas rulers.
Israel also imposed a blockade of Gaza in 2006 when one of its soldiers was seized by Gaza militants in a deadly 2006 raid and tightened a year later when Hamas took over.
The siege has been significantly eased in recent months after Israeli came under international pressure following a deadly May 31 raid on a flotilla of aid ships trying to breach the blockade.
© 2011 AFP