On the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, the city of Jerusalem is bracing for a massive electricity outage due to the Israeli occupation.
The electricity crisis, which is expected to last for hours, has triggered widespread cancellations at major hotels, restaurants and public transportation, according to Israeli news site Ynet.
The outage will affect some 200,000 people, and could affect millions more in the coming days.
The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency, and has ordered the closure of the city’s main electrical substation, as well as all the main power plants in the area, which accounts for roughly one-fifth of Jerusalem’s total energy consumption.
In addition to the blackout, some 200 schools in the city have been closed, and some 300,000 Israeli citizens have been asked to evacuate their homes, Ynet reported.
As the crisis unfolds, Palestinians in the West Bank are using social media to post videos and photos of the blackout.
Some of the images show Palestinian families taking advantage of the outage to take advantage of their electricity bills.
The blackout has caused some residents to fear the city could become an electric black hole, which would lead to the shutdown of all major services, according the Associated Press.
The Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said that the Israeli authorities have ordered them to close the city to Palestinians in need of medical care.
It also urged Israelis to be wary of all public transportation and shopping centers and to check the status of their vehicles.
In response to the ongoing electricity crisis in the holy city, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is visiting the region this week, called on Palestinians to “stop the panic and take to the streets” in protest against the blackout and to show solidarity with the people of Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s spokesman, Yigal Palmor, also called on Israel to “protect the lives of its citizens,” adding that the prime minister was also asking Palestinian leaders to support the ongoing struggle against the occupation.
“This is the last opportunity to stop the panic,” Palmor said.
“We need to be united and to be ready to take to our streets and fight for the survival of our city.”