Hamas, Egypt Finalize Gaza Energy Deal (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 02/24/12)
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Egyptian authorities and Hamas officials have reached an agreement to
end the energy crisis in Gaza, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency
Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu told the news agency that a deal had
been reached after “intensive negotiations” between Hamas’ prime
minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, Egyptian officials and the Islamic
Al-Nunu said the deal included three stages. The first stipulates
that Egyptian companies pump fuel directly to Gaza under the terms of
contracts signed with firms. The second stage will see the Islamic
Development Bank finance a project to increase the capacity of Gaza´s
sole power-plant by 40 megawatts.
The third part of the agreement, al-Nunu said, will see the Gazan
electricity grid connected to Egypt´s, as well as converting the
coastal enclave´s sole power plant from diesel to gas.
The pending agreement was first reported on Monday and was finalized
on Thursday. Gaza´s power station went dark on February 14 due to a
shortage of diesel fuel for its generators.
The current crisis was brought on when sources of black market fuel
being shipped to Gaza through Egypt´s Sinai Peninsula dried up after
Egyptian authorities started to crack down.
During the fuel crisis, Gaza’s Hamas rulers refused to transfer fuel
from Egypt through the Israeli Kerem Shalom crossing, claiming Israel
severely restricts the movement of people and goods from Gaza.
Earlier on Thursday, the head of the Palestinian Authority energy
authority charged Hamas with politicizing the Gaza electricity crisis
during ongoing negotiations with Egypt. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012
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