Gaza’s latest electricity crisis could be “the tipping point” that makes the Strip unlivable for its two million residents, a UN official told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “The UN has been warning for some years that the chronic problems of Gaza are accumulating to the extent that we may be approaching a tipping point at which Gaza becomes unlivable”, said Robert Piper, coordinator for humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. It is one more blow for the Hamas-controlled enclave, where unemployment is at 42% and fresh water is a scarce commodity. Gaza will now operate on only four hours of electricity a day, down from eight. The plant had hit a crisis point in December that was averted by tax-free donations from Qatar and Turkey that provided the necessary diesel fuel. To help fix Gaza’s electricity problem and to make it “dramatically cheaper”, the Gaza power plant could be run on natural gas, Piper said. The plant would need to be renovated to shift it from a diesel-based operation, Piper continued, adding that the project could be done in stages.When looking at the larger picture of the crisis, Piper was clear that the primary cause is the restrictions on the freedom of movement of goods and people through the three crossings into the Strip, which have made a viable economy impossible. Israel controls two of the crossings, and Egypt is in charge of the third.Israel has placed restrictions on the Gaza passages since Hamas ousted Fatah from the Strip in a bloody coup in 2007.