Written by Staff Writer at CNN Beirut, Lebanon,
Some areas of Lebanon did not have electricity after electricity was cut off by Israel during the 36-hour July 4-5 Israeli military operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon’s Southern region.
On Thursday, after six days, some citizens from Beirut were able to purchase gasoline and domestic gas in some areas of the capital after Israel suspended its incursion and threats to Lebanese civilians.
The Lebanese electricity minister Ayan Hamze described Israel’s actions as “illegal and a shame” and said that Lebanon would respond to them by ensuring that its electricity is restored.
“We are pleased that the energy minister, minister of agriculture and the Hezbollah group reached an agreement on [consolidating] our cooperation with the Israeli Oil Company to restore the power through the F-2 production plant,” said Hamze in a statement on Friday.
After entering into the agreement with the Israeli Oil Company, he added, “we would like to thank the coordination team of the Israeli Cabinet for this favor.”
Representatives of Lebanon’s electrical company reached an agreement with Israel’s Oil Company on “consolidating” the the power infrastructure of southern Lebanon, “in a position which shall be accompanied by a monitoring mechanism to maintain the system.”
State power has been restored in Beirut, Lebanon, on July 5, 2019. CNN
This agreement was reached “according to the order of the Lebanese Electricity Minister” with “the technical team of the Israeli Oil Company,” according to Hamze.
Yaser Kfir, spokesman for the Israeli Oil Company, told CNN the agreement was executed as “an urgent measure to ensure electricity supply through the structure of the Lebanese electricity company in the Western Qalamoun region, in order to tackle the crisis in the area.”
Kfir added: “After the collapse of the main power lines, the region has been subjected to blackouts throughout the last two days.”
However, Amal Movement leader Samir Geagea told The Daily Star newspaper on Thursday: “Lebanon’s electricity is not getting better. Rather, the situation has worsened, especially in East Beirut and the outskirts of the South.”
Lebanon imports 60% of its electricity, and roughly 95% of the power generated is imported as the current power grid is characterized by “severe structural flaws,” said the country’s auditor general Selwan Barghouti.
He told the paper: “The supply chain suffers from problems, such as the failure to tap into mineral reserves, the failure to develop a mechanism to replace faulty transformers, the failure to maintain the grid’s capital … and the main concern being the issue of recurrent power cuts.”
While residents in Eastern Beirut and the outskirts of the South have been experiencing blackouts, residents in Beirut’s neighborhoods are still struggling with power outages.
“We live in the most neglected area of the capital,” said one resident of Beirut.