World, Middle East

Gaza's sole power plant shuts down

Gaza requires around 400 megawatts of power per day

Gaza's sole power plant shuts down file photo

By Nour Abu Eisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine

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.

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