The Gaza Strip, home to 1.8 million people, has been experiencing up to 18 hours of power cuts a day. The coastal enclave's only power plant halted production earlier in July in a dispute between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) over fuel tax. Hamas has been paying the PA for imported fuel but was unable to afford the tax bill. Qatar had donated $10m (£6.42m) , effectively exempting Hamas from paying the tax, but this has dried up.

gaza power cuts
A Palestinian family sits around a fire next to their home in al-Tufah in the east of Gaza City during a power outage, on 27 July 2015Mahmud Hams/AFP
gaza power cuts
A Palestinian woman makes tea inside her house during power cut at Shatti refugee camp in Gaza City on 23 July 2015Mohammed Salem/Reuters
gaza power cuts
A Palestinian man walks at Shatti refugee camp in Gaza City during a power cut, on 23 July 2015Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Even when the power plant was working, it was only running at about 50% of its capacity, and Gaza experienced an average of 12 hours without power every day. In addition to the power station, Gaza receives power from Egypt and Israel, but these three sources together amount to about 230MW, which the UN estimates meets only half of Gaza's needs.

gaza power cuts
A Palestinian woman carries a tray of coffee inside her house during power cuts in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2014Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
gaza power cuts
As the evening power cuts begin, children light a fire near Gaza beach on 10 June 2015Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
gaza power cuts
A Palestinian man walks past a fire burning outside a shattered home in Shejaiya on 27 August 2014Roberto Schmidt/AFP
gaza power cuts
Palestinian boys warm themselves around a fire in their destroyed home in Shejaiya neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City, on 16 October 2014Mohammed Abed/AFP
gaza power cuts
A Palestinian family sits inside their makeshift house during power cuts in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2014Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
gaza power cuts
A man leaves his house, which is lit by a lamp powered by a mobile generator, during a power cut in the northern Gaza Strip on 5 November 2013Mohammed Salem/Reuters
gaza power cuts
A man warms himself by a fire inside his makeshift shelter during a power cut in the northern Gaza Strip on 11 November 2013Mohammed Salem/Reuters
gaza power cuts
A vendor sells sweets by candlelight during a power cut in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 4 December 2013Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Many families use generators but fuel supplies are expensive and limited. In many homes, children do their homework by candlelight. Several young people have died in house fires due to accidents or generator malfunctions.

gaza power cuts
A girl studies by candlelight at her family's house during a power cut in the northern Gaza Strip on 5 November 2013Mohammed Salem/Reuters
gaza power cuts
A Palestinian man looks at the bedroom where two of his teen relatives died in a fire caused by a malfunction in the backup power system in their home in Shatti refugee camp in Gaza City on 4 January 2015Mohammed Salem/Reuters
gaza power cuts
17 February 2015: A man reacts as he inspects a burnt classroom at a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun which had been sheltering Palestinians whose houses were destroyed during the 50-day war with Israel. A nine-month-old baby died in an electrical fireMohammed Salem/Reuters

In June, Israel seized a boat carrying foreign journalists and activists, part of a flotilla heading to Gaza in protest against the Israeli blockade. Activists said the boats had contained a cargo of solar panels intended to help alleviate electricity shortages.