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Gaza's sole power plant to shut down amid ongoing energy crisis

July 20, 2015 4:38 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 16, 2015 11:35 A.M.)
(MaanImages/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza's sole power plant will stop running Monday evening as it is unable to cover taxes imposed by the national unity government, Gaza's energy authority said.

The unity government waved the tax in a show of good will in the four months to the end of Ramadan, but the Gazan energy authority said in a statement Monday that since the tax has been reinstated it can no longer afford to keep the plant running.

The energy authority added that it had only been able to cover the cost of maintaining the plant during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and the Eid holiday by borrowing from local companies and taking loans from banks.

The tax imposed on fuel before it is sold to Gaza amounts to a 50 percent price hike on the price of fuel per liter, or 3.5 shekels ($0.91), the statement said.

Gaza has been facing an ongoing energy crisis for months, with residents of the coastal enclave provided only a fraction of the energy needed.

Earlier on Monday, 25 percent of the coastal enclave's energy supply wascut offwhen two power grids run by Israel shut down due to a technical error.

Gaza currently receives electricity from Israel, Egypt, and its power plant, although the plant has struggled to cover costs for months.

It was nearly forced to close toward the end of May following a dispute with the Palestinian petroleum authority in Ramallah, although the issue was later apparently resolved.

Earlier this year, the power plant closed down for more than a month in March when the Gazan energy authority was unable to pay the taxes.

The amount had previously been covered by Qatar, which in December donated $10 million to the PA to cover the tax.

Although the power plant inside Gaza has a potential output of 120 MW, it has been unable to produce that much due to Israeli restrictions on fuel imports as part of an eight-year blockade.

The Gaza plant generally produces around 60 MW.

Last summer the plant was targeted during the 50-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, completely knocking it out of commission. The Gaza power authority said at the time that the damages from the attack could take up to a year to fix completely.

Gaza suffers 12 hours of power outages each day. Many individual homes have their own generators, and households can purchase extremely expensive fuel that comes into Gaza for private consumption.
Comments
Tibi / Tubas
Gaza's sole power plant can shut down, and
Israel can stop supplying Gaza with electricty, and
Rebuilding the recently destroyed may never happen, and
still HAMAS REFUSES TO CONSIDER PEACE,
which IS RESPONSIBLE for the entire situation !!
20/07/2015 17:52
Brian Cohen / Israel
This is 100 percent the result of Palestinian aggression and militaristic policies. The Hamas government rejects peace, abuses its own people is a threat to the future. The EU and UN must demand Hamas comply with international laws and join the peace process. Right now Hamas is war.
20/07/2015 17:55
Outlier / USA
Be nice to your neighbor - he knows where you live.
20/07/2015 18:14
joanne / slovakia
So it is not ''A technical error in Israel cut off two main power grids responsible for supplying Gaza with electricity over the weekend.'' As you published misleadingly in your biased article
July 20, 2015 10:54 A.M. (Updated: July 20, 2015 1:40 P.M.)
20/07/2015 18:45
Biased and inaccurate / UNknown
mike hamblet / UK
Oh Israel, these vicious, pathetic acts (destroying olive trees, preventing fishing), are just as effective as killing in provoking resentment and world condemnation.Lies biased and inaccurate.
20/07/2015 18:52
Horge / Spain
So the world has been told that ''A technical error in Israel cut off two main power grids responsible for supplying Gaza with electricity''. But that is both untrue and actually a load of bollocks
20/07/2015 19:02
1000 trucks are crossing into GAZA / EVERY DAY NOW
lots of fuel, cement, iron, steel,

where does it all go?
20/07/2015 19:03
Joseph / Lesotho
Just tell me why the Jewish people should not be a free people in its own country. I guess the Jewish people do not have the same rights as other people? Don't you think that if one people needs a state, the Jewish people is the one,given how antisemitism was and is still equal to death and suffer.
20/07/2015 19:09
@ Biased / Justification
-1- Israel has very good Justification for it's actions against "trees and fishing", which both their connections to Terrorism, and
-2- World "resentment and condemnation" have been so high for so long, that Israel couldn't even notice if it increased.
20/07/2015 20:55
Peace Is / Possible But
Hamas-Ruled Gaza Should Be Given A Choice, Either:
-1- Peace With The Jewish State Of Israel, Or
-2- The "Sole Power Plant Shut Down" Indefinitely,
A Never-Ending Blockade, And No Rebuilding Too !!
21/07/2015 00:37
Outlier / USA
Horge, either provide proof of the "untruths" or be a liar. Your call.
21/07/2015 02:18
Ancient Life Without Peace, Or / Modern Life With Peace
If the people of Gaza had to choose, -1- living a life that resembles that of 10 generations ago, without accepting peace with a Jewish state, or
-2- living a modern life, with accepting peace with a Jewish state,
Which Would They Choose ??
21/07/2015 03:22
Peace / Possible
The Fruits of the "Resistance", every few years, are:
- Naval Blockade and Security Fence, with
- 1,000s of buildings being destroyed,
- 1,000s of people being killed, and
- 12-hour blackouts for every 6-hours of power, and
Neither EU, Nor UN, policy towards Israel will ever change this !!
21/07/2015 14:40
Tibi / Tubas
Both the PLO or PA and the State of Israel are responding
reasonably to Hamas' attempts to destroy them, where:
- The PLO stops paying Hamas' fuel bills, and
- The State of Israel stops supplying Hamas' electricty needs, and
The People Of The Gaza Strip Deserve A Regime Change !!
21/07/2015 17:07
MAXY / London
It seems the Zionist trolls are out in force trying to make it look like Israel occupies the moral high ground.
24/07/2015 01:53
Ahmad Farihuddin Hashim / USA
This hidden policy to stop the power plant is a slow method to make the Palestinians suffer.
25/07/2015 12:15
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