Lack of fuel shuts down Gaza's sole power plant

Lack of fuel shuts down Gaza's sole power plant
Sat Mar 15, 2014 18:41:07

The Gaza Strip's sole power station has stopped generating electricity due to lack of fuel, causing blackouts throughout the besieged enclave, an official said.

Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of Gaza's Energy Authority, said the plant “has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel's) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing."

The plant has been forced to shut down several times. It supplies about 30 percent of the enclave's electricity needs.

On March 13, Israel’s Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Yaalon ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza and the Erez pedestrian crossing.

The closure came after rounds of tit-for-tat attacks by the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance fighters in the blockaded territory.

The escalation began on March 11 when an Israeli airstrike killed three members of the Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad in Gaza’s southern city of Khan Yunis. The deadly incident triggered a series of retaliatory attacks between the two sides.

On March 12, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman called for the full re-occupation of Gaza after the Islamic Jihad resistance fighters fired retaliatory rockets into southern Israel.

Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah said on March 13 that Palestinian resistance fighters would not lay down their arms until all occupied Palestinian territories are liberated.

Attacks against Palestinians in Gaza continue despite a 2012 Egypt-brokered truce that ended the Israeli onslaught against the territory. Over 160 Palestinians were killed and some 1,200 others were injured in the eight-day Israeli offensive.


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