Crisis-hit Gaza gets 450,000 litres of fuel (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 03/23/12)
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Some 450,000 litres of fuel were delivered to the crisis-hit Gaza
Strip early on Friday through Israel´s Kerem Shalom border crossing,
Israeli and Palestinian sources said.
An Israeli military official confirmed that the Kerem Shalom terminal
had opened at 7:30 am (0530 GMT), to allow 450,000 litres of fuel to
be transferred into the Hamas-run territory.
"450,000 litres of fuel are being delivered to Gaza today," said Guy
Inbar, a spokesman for COGAT, the military division in charge of
coordinating access to and from Gaza.
And a source within Gaza´s government said that 13 tankers, "each
with a capacity of 45,000 litres," were at the border crossing.
The delivery was made just hours after Egyptian officials reached an
agreement with Israel to permit the transfer of fuel to enable Gaza´s
sole power plant to function.
"Thanks to efforts by Egypt, in coordination with Hamas, prime
minister Salam Fayyad and due to a decision by president Mahmud
Abbas, an agreement was reached to resume the supply of diesel, via
Israel, to Gaza´s power plant through the Kerem Shalom terminal," a
senior Egyptian official told AFP overnight.
The agreement with Israel was to involve the delivery of 900,000
litres of fuel, he said. It was not immediately clear when the second
delivery would be made.
Fayyad´s office in a statement spoke of the delivery of "437,000
litres of fuel for the Gaza Strip today," but warned that this was
merely a "provisional solution."
"A permanent solution will depend on a series of measures," he added,
calling for "rational and serious management reforms" in the Gaza
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Islamist movement had been
informed by Egypt about Friday´s delivery, and was ""pursuing efforts
to find a permanent solution to this crisis." He did not mention
Last week, Gaza´s energy authority said it had paid Egypt $2 million
towards fuel for its crippled power station, but had yet to receive
anything in return.
Gaza is experiencing a major electricity crisis because of a shortage
of fuel for the power plant.
The facility, which supplies nearly a third of Gaza´s electricity,
stopped generating power on March 10, for the third time in four
weeks, causing power cuts of up to 18 hours per day, according to the
UN humanitarian agency, OCHA.
"Since 10 March, the majority of the Gaza population has been
experiencing power cuts of up to 18 hours per day after the Gaza
power plant was forced to shut down due to a lack of fuel," OCHA said
in its weekly report.
"These power cuts have severe humanitarian consequences on
Palestinian households. The fuel and electricity shortages also
disrupt the delivery of public services, including hospitals and
water and waste water treatment plants."
Gaza has long suffered outages because of shortages at its power
plant, which has a maximum capacity of 140 megawatts but for some
years has been able to generate only around half of that when
In recent months, the situation has worsened because of a shortage of
fuel, most of which is smuggled through cross-border tunnels from
Egypt. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 03/23/12)
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