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Power authority: Turkey offers to send fuel to run Gaza power plant

Jan. 14, 2017 7:43 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 15, 2017 9:11 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The deputy president of Gaza's power authority said Saturday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to ship fuel to the Gaza Strip to run the besieged coastal enclave's sole power plant, in order to help lighten the crippling electricity crisis that has sparked widespread protests in recent days.

Even at full capacity, Egyptian and Israeli electricity grids, together with Gaza's power plant, fail to cover the Gaza Strip’s energy needs. The power plant has not run at full capacity in years, with Israel's crippling blockade severely limiting fuel imports into the coastal enclave.

The power authority's Deputy President Fathi Sheikh Khalil made his remarks during a workshop organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in the Gaza Strip.

Turkey has offered in the past to provide the Gaza Strip with a floating power plant, but the plan has not come to fruition.

After Turkey and Israel normalized diplomatic relations last June, Turkey pledged to provide aid economic projects for the Gaza Strip that again included the establishment of a power plant.

In July, a Turkish governmental delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip to discuss the electricity crisis that, after deepening this winter to the point that many areas are only provided with three hours of power at a time between 12-hour-long blackouts, sparked widespread protests in recent days.

Amid the demonstrations, reports have emerged of Hamas security forces assaulting journalists covering the protests, as well as temporarily detaining an opposition leader.
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