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Gaza’s only power station is completely out of service

April 17, 2017 at 12:26 pm

A Palestinian man watches the Gaza’s power station in the central Gaza Strip, July 29, 2015 [Ashraf Amra / ApaImages]

The Palestinian Power Authority in Gaza announced on Sunday that the only power station in the territory has stopped working due to a lack of fuel. The only electricity sources now in the Gaza Strip are power lines from Israel and Egypt. As such, said the authority, electricity will only be available for six hours on and 12 hours off; it may even be as bad as six hours in every 24 hour period.

According to the official statement, the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is “persisting” in its imposition of high taxes on suitable fuel, which the electricity company in Gaza is unable to afford. If it could buy duty-free fuel, it said, it could guarantee some degree of electricity supply from the power station.

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In response, the PA in the occupied West Bank alleged that Hamas, which effectively runs the Gaza Strip, collects electricity revenues and does not pay anything to the power authority in Ramallah. Hamas has denied this claim.

Last week, the coordinator of Israel’s humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, Yoav Mordechai, blamed PA President Mahmoud Abbas for undermining several humanitarian projects in Gaza. These include a high-voltage line to cover the electricity deficit in the besieged enclave.

Since 2007, electricity has generally only been supplied on a rota of eight hours on and eight hours off due to increased demand and the limitations enforced by the Israeli-led siege on Gaza.