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Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down

The power plant that generates electricity in central Gaza [Majdi Fathi/Apaimages]
The power plant that generates electricity in Gaza [Majdi Fathi/Apaimages]

The sole power plant in the Gaza Strip was shut down on Sunday due to lack of funds needed to buy fuel.

In a statement, the Hamas-run energy authority blamed the Ramallah-based government for the shutdown of the plant.

“The plant was closed over the insistence of the Ramallah government to impose taxes, a move that tripled the fuel prices and prevented us from buying it,” it said.

For years, the Gaza Strip and its roughly two million inhabitants have groaned under a chronic lack of power.

The blockaded territory requires around 400 megawatts of power per day, but is receiving around half of that.

Hamas and the Ramallah-based government have traded accusations for the crisis. While the former accuses the government of imposing taxes on fuel, the government says Hamas’s control of the energy authority prevents it from resolving the crisis.

Earlier this year, Turkey provided Gaza with 15 tons of fuel to operate the strip’s power plant, while Qatar paid $12 million for buying fuel for the station.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has reeled under a crippling Israeli embargo that has deprived the coastal enclave’s two million population of basic commodities, including food, fuel and medicine.

Childrens are seen holding candles in order provide light as Gaza's Energy authority goes on strike due to salary cuts by the PA on 14 April 2017. [Images by Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Childrens are seen holding candles in order provide light as Gaza’s Energy authority goes on strike due to salary cuts by the PA on 14 April 2017. [Images by Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

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