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Fuel shipped to Gaza to avert energy crisis

June 25, 2014 6:56 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2014 5:48 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's sole power plant kept running Wednesday after diesel fuel was allowed to enter the Strip via Israel, a day after the power authority warned it would shut down, a Gaza official said.

Raed Fattouh, who is in charge of the coordination of goods entering Gaza, told Ma'an that more than 400 truckloads of goods were shipped in on Wednesday, including diesel fuel to run the power plant.

Gasoline and humanitarian aid was also shipped into the coastal enclave, Fattouh said.

He added that two truckloads of cement were shipped in to be used for UN-funded projects.

An agreement was reached Tuesday to import 250,000 liters of synthetic diesel for the Gaza power generation station, the deputy head of the energy authority in Gaza said.

Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil told Ma'an that the fuel aims to continue the supply of electricity for eight hours daily.

He added that this amount is enough for one day, explaining that there are other suggestions to reduce the taxes on diesel.

Khalil had earlier said that donated Qatari fuel would run out on Tuesday, and that the power generation would stop if an alternative was not found.

Qatar had in March agreed to continue to donate money to fuel Gaza's power plant for three months.

The Gulf state also donated $10 million to Gaza for fuel in the wake of the humanitarian crisis caused by severe weather in the region in December on top of difficulties caused by the Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006, leading to frequent humanitarian crises.
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