Palestinians: Egypt to help with Gaza power

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RAMALLAH: A Palestinian energy official says Egypt has agreed to ease Gaza’s chronic power shortages.

Gaza has suffered frequent blackouts and fuel shortages because of a border blockade imposed after the 2007 takeover of the territory by Hamas.

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak had sided with Israel in enforcing the blockade, trying to isolate the Islamist militants on his doorstep. Egypt’s new rulers have eased Gaza’s isolation.

The energy deal announced Monday is a major step toward a greater Egyptian role in Gaza.

Energy official Omar Kittaneh says Egypt will increase the electricity flow to Gaza in coming days, then set up a new transmitter there and eventually link Gaza to the regional grid.

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