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Gaza goes dark: Strip generators run out of fuel

Nov. 9, 2008 1:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 9, 2008 1:26 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - With the Nahal Oz fuel transfer point running at only 40% of its regular capacity for almost a week officials warned that power outages could follow.

When the sun set in Gaza on Sunday the Strip was plunged into darkness and no electric lights illuminated Gazan cityscapes.

The sounds of small generators were heard around the city so main roads and shops could continue to function.

Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Jamal Al-Khudari warned of complete electricity blackouts in the Gaza Strip earlier on Sunday. His foreboding statement also cautioned citizens and the international community that the decreased supplies getting into the exhausted area could cause the humanitarian situation in Gaza to mushroom.

Only two crossings into Gaza remain partially open, the northern Nahl Oz and the southern Kerem Shalom transfer point which operated at 15% of usual capacity and is used to move food products

According to Al-Khudari the electricity station in Gaza was already operating below capacity. He appealed to the international community to place pressure on Israel in order to end the siege and rescue the 1.5 million people in Gaza from a looming explosion of the already acute humanitarian disaster.

Fuel for Gaza is provided by a Palestinian company, which must coordinate with Israeli border control at the Gaza crossings to ensure that the fuel gets to the right people. Al-Khudari called the halting of such deliveries "Israeli piracy," and demanded that the fuel paid for by Palestinians be delivered to its owners.

***Updated 21:17 Bethlehem time
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