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Gaza power plant resumes operations

March 17, 2014 11:48 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2014 12:26 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's sole power station resumed generating electricity on Monday after Israel allowed fuel deliveries into the besieged coastal enclave.

Jamal Dardasawi, a public information officer for the power plant, told Ma'an that the company would resume the former distribution system to households of eight hours with electricity and eight hours without.

A spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit responsible for crossings into Gaza, confirmed that 100,000 liters of fuel were delivered on Sunday via the Kerem Shalom crossing for the power station.

Around 500,000 liters of fuel was expected on Sunday but delays to the delivery meant the power plant could not resume full operations.

A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "Problems in transferring funds between the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and the Hamas government in Gaza are to blame" for the delay.

The power plant, which supplies some 30 percent of Gaza's electricity needs, fell silent for 50 days in the latter part of 2013 because of lack of fuel but resumed operations in late December.

Israel routinely closes the crossing in response to rocket fire or other violence in and around Gaza.

The fuel is bought from Israel by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority which also facilitates the delivery because Hamas does not recognize Israel and do not have any direct dealings with its officials.

AFP contributed to this report
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