Gaza crisis deepens as its only power plant goes dark
Gaza crisis deepens as its only power plant goes dark
17 Abril, 2017, 10:31
The Gaza Energy Authority said on its website, "Fuel taxes have not been canceled by the government [the Palestinian Authority]; so the power plant will stop working on Sunday morning".
Samir Metir said that all the plant's fuel, purchased with funding from Qatar and Turkey, had been used up.
The Hamas-controlled energy authority in Gaza said it no longer has the funds to buy more diesel fuel and pay the requisite taxes, which are levied by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah.
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Hamas, who control Gaza, and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, have for years blamed each other for an electricity crisis in the besieged coastal enclave.
The Gaza Strip's only functioning power plant ran out of fuel, leaving 2 million residents with only four to six hours of electricity per day, according to the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company. About 27 megawatts is imported from Egypt and 125 from Israel.
On top of the ongoing electricity shortages, the Gaza Strip has been plagued by a water crisis in recent weeks, with 96 percent of its supply estimated to be undrinkable.
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In a letter to global aid organizations, representatives of the worldwide community in Israel, and Israel's foreign ministry, the defense ministry's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) estimated that some 96 percent of water in the Gaza Strip is now undrinkable after the collapse of the enclave's main aquifer, Israel's Army Radio reported Sunday.
The blockaded territory requires around 400 megawatts of power per day, but is receiving around half of that.
A second desalination plant is still in the planning stages, while the global community has yet to raise the funds required for a third plant planned for Deir al-Balah.
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IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, warned that fuel for the power station in Gaza would likely run out very soon.
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