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Gaza power plant closes again
Published Tuesday 28/02/2012 (updated) 04/03/2012 12:40
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Gaza's sole power plant, shown in the aftermath of an Israeli airstrike which
damaged the station in 2006. (MaanImages/Wessam Saleh)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Gaza's only power plant has been forced to shut down for the second time in two weeks due to a fuel shortage, the energy authority in the Gaza Strip said Tuesday.

Energy officials appealed to Egypt to provide Gaza with a sufficient amount of fuel to allow regular operation of the plant, adding that the disruptions were inflicting a heavy toll on the 1.7 million Palestinian residents of the blockaded strip.

The power station had only re-started operations eight days ago, reactivating one of four generators when emergency fuel supplies arrived from Egypt. A crisis in fuel supplies shut the plant on Feb. 14, plunging Gaza into up to 18 hour blackouts per day.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egyptian security forces stopped four trucks containing more than 7,000 liters of diesel fuel bound for the Gaza Strip via underground tunnels, and arrested four Egyptian smugglers.

Egypt wants to stop the use of underground tunnels for delivery of Egyptian fuel purchased by Palestinian authorities, and has severely reduced supply through the tunnel network, prompting an energy crisis in the coastal enclave.

Egyptian and Gazan officials said last week they had reached a deal which includes longer-term measures to increase the capacity of Gaza's sole power plant and link Gaza's electricity grid to Egyptian infrastructure.

On Sunday, as part of the first stage of the agreement, Egypt increased its power supply to the Gaza Strip from 17 to 22 megawatts, but the energy authority warned the measure was not sufficient to allay the crisis.

The shorter-term requirement is the delivery of fuel into Gaza, but a disagreement on the route of the fuel still appeared to be pending agreement.

The Gaza government is pressing for the Rafah terminal between the countries to be equipped for fuel transfer, and is reluctant to accept fuel to be delivered via the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.

The government fears Israel will use control of supplies to squeeze the coastal strip. Israel severely restricts the movement of people and goods from the Gaza Strip since it tightened a blockade on the territory in 2007.

Meanwhile, international aid group Oxfam said in a release Sunday that the crisis was having a disproportionate effect on women, who bear the load of domestic work, and leaving children in Gaza "stressed and scared," quoting local partner organization the Women's Affairs Center.

A human rights expert who criticized the government-run energy authority for its handling of the crisis said on Sunday that he had received an arrest warrant from Hamas authorities. The order accused him of creating a rift amongst citizens, as well as threatening the security of the authority.
1 ) Jaques / Montreal
28/02/2012 17:01
Here comes the Hamas candle pictures, or have they stopped working? Candle picture fatigue, no?

2 ) Judo / Canada
28/02/2012 17:23
the article is lacking important details. Israel for the last 7 years has supplied Gaza with the majority of it's electricity, 120 megawatts by direct high voltage lines to the Israeli power grid. It has never been reduced or cut. The Israeli Supreme court forbid the Israeli government from ever cutting off this power so as not to cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=461890 "The Gaza Strip also receives around 120 MW of electricity from Israel.

3 ) Gaza's Rights / \ Tibi/Tubas
28/02/2012 17:40
Gaza's people have the right to a "power plant that is forced to shut down
for the second time in two weeks due to a fuel shortage", because their government acts like it has the right to fire and mortars rockets at Israeli civilians, towns, and cities, and continues trying to abduct Israeli hostages !!!

4 ) Palestine / Palestine
28/02/2012 19:15
Th Zionist Israel and Zionist America told the Zionist Egyptian army not let fuel into gaza .And we thought Egypt changed its all about the money,the army leaders are Israeli run in Egypt. They would rather say all of gaza die then let supplies flow freely into gaza.sad Egypt can't even have there own military in the sini and it's there own land.egyptians are great people but the government is a zionist owned

5 ) southparkbear / usa
28/02/2012 19:24
nu, and you think that will get you something? there is no mention of pals in any headline news in the west for several days now

6 ) EE / UK
28/02/2012 20:22
You still need to pay your bills pals.

7 ) Malone / Hfx
28/02/2012 20:27
#5..if they're not in the news,then we should beware...they will do something to gain the attention they so deparatley seek..:ie...bombings,rocket attacks,killing families,etc...anything to make the front page.

8 ) Arnold / Canada
28/02/2012 23:08
Palestine / Palestine. When will you people get off your bloody rear ends and take responsibility for your own lives.

9 ) @ Palestine #4 / Delusions
29/02/2012 05:05
The delusional Palestinians in Israel/OPT and the delusional Arab/Muslim world keep telling the delusional children of Palestinian refugees, that one day, if they just keep waiting, they will be flooding Israel/OPT, so as to accomplish what the Arabs failed to do achieve through invasions and terror attacks - destroy the Jewish state. - But 3 generations later it is NO closer to happening, and - Even if they wait 3,000 generations it is never going to happen !!!

10 ) Israel / Israel
29/02/2012 06:22
@4: wow, that is a lot of zionists. How soon before "all" of gaza dies from the Zionist fuel shortage. Just want to check the dates.

11 ) Gloria Edwards / United Kingdom
02/03/2012 14:23
When will Israel stop the systemic destruction of the poor Palestinian state and the UN take firm action against the state of Israel for its ethnic cleansing policy?

12 ) Dennis Exton / UK
08/03/2012 15:15
Comment from Judo(no.2). is seriously misinformed. Israel regularly interrupts power supply to Gaza from the lines connected to the Israeli grid. It did this during Operation Cast Lead and numerous other occasions. It continually destroys attempts to reduce Gazan dependence on Israeli power eg solar power infrastructure projects funded by Europe; it kidnaps Abu Sisi the Gazan power plant operations manager whose team managed to keep it in operation despite regular sabotage.
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