Published March 19, 2011, Updated March 20, 2011
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli shelling on Saturday destroyed power lines providing electricity to the Gaza Strip, said Electricity Company spokesman Jamal Ad-Dardasawi.
Ad-Dardawasi said Israeli shells struck main lines cutting off the power supply to areas east of Gaza City and in northern Gaza.
“By shelling these lines, the company has lost around 50 megawatts, leaving most of Gaza’s neighborhoods without electricity. Only 40 megawatts are left to be distributed across the city,” he said.
“In addition, the company lost more than 12 megawatts in the northern district after Israel shelled the line that provides the area with electricity.”
The spokesman said the company was working on bringing technicians in to rebuild the destroyed infrastructure.
Gaza’s Interior Ministry said five were injured, including a 3-year-old boy, as Israeli forces struck targets in the coastal enclave.
Locals said the Israeli strikes targeted a security facility in Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood.
Meanwhile Israeli tanks targeted a mosque in the south, the Gaza International Airport near Rafah, and the Shokat As-Sufi village, eyewitnesses said.
The shelling came hours after huge explosions were heard in the southern Gaza City, apparently from Palestinian launch pads as resistance fighters launched mortar shells at Israeli areas bordering the Gaza Strip.
Hamas’ military wing claimed responsibility for the mortar attacks, and said the shelling came in response to Israel’s “crimes and the ongoing air and ground strikes on the Gaza Strip the latest of which targeted and killed two Hamas’ fighters.”
Israel said 49 mortar bombs fell on or around Israeli communities near the border with the Gaza Strip in the biggest violation yet of an informal truce militants declared in January.
Army radio said only minor damage was caused but an Israeli military spokesman said two civilians were lightly wounded when three projectiles fell on Pithat Shalom in the Negev desert.
AFP contributed to this report