´Without fuel deal, Gaza shuts sole power plant´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 03/25/12)
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After finishing the last of an emergency fuel injection from Israel,
Gaza´s sole power plant shut down on Sunday morning, the Palestinian
Ma´an News agency reported.
Awaiting the completion of a fuel deal between the Hamas and Egypt,
the Gazan fuel plant has been been working intermittently. Sunday´s
closure was the fourth since mid-February, according to Ma´an.
Israel allowed nine fuel tankers to cross into the Gaza Strip on
Friday to ease a severe power shortage triggered by the Egypt-Hamas
dispute over supplies.
The delivery of around 450,000 liters of industrial diesel was the
first to Gaza´s only power station coming via Israel in almost a year
after Hamas softened on its resistance to accepting supplies from its
The fuel crisis has crippled Gaza in recent weeks. Petrol pumps have
run dry and its 1.7 million residents suffer major electricity black
The dispute followed Egypt´s insistence that fuel imports to Gaza
pass through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing on the
Egypt-Gaza border and its crackdown on smuggled supplies last month.
Hamas objects to that arrangement, not wanting to allow Israel - a
country whose right to exist it does not recognize - the power to
block supplies in times of tension. It wants direct trade with Egypt,
which could strengthen Gaza´s economy and Hamas´s popularity.
The crisis is a further example of the rocky relationship between
Hamas and Egypt, which favors Hamas´s rivals Fatah - the party that
lost control of the Strip to Hamas in 2007.
Friday´s delivery followed "intensive and successful contacts"
between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the
Palestinian President, and Egypt and Israel, said Raed Fattouh, the
Palestinian Authority official in charge of coordination with Israel
over the passage of supplies into Gaza.
Initially Hamas did not want to accept the diesel but later relented.
Reuters contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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