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Power crisis forces Gaza hospital to close

Local authorities warn number of hospitals might be shut down in Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave

Power crisis forces Gaza hospital to close

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine

A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip has shut down over an acute power shortage plaguing the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Monday.

In a statement, the Ministry said the Beit Hanoun hospital had suspended health services over the shortage.

"Patients will be transferred to other governmental hospitals," it said.

On Sunday, the Ministry warned that a number of hospitals might be shut down because of the electricity crisis in the seaside enclave.

According to the Health Ministry, Gaza hospitals need 450,000 liters of fuel a month to operate power generators.

The chronic energy shortfall in the Israel-blockaded Gaza Strip has forced local authorities to adopt a makeshift "rotation" system by which power is cut in some parts of the strip so it might be provided in others.

Israel currently provides the Gaza Strip with 120 megawatts of electricity, while Egypt provides it with another 32 megawatts.

Gaza's sole functioning power plant is able to generate only 60 megawatts, according to the Palestinian Energy Authority.

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