Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gaza power plant runs out of fuel

Ma'an News warns that Gaza's only power plant is threatened by fuel shortage and might close down next Thursday:

An EU contract paying for fuel shipments into the Gaza Strip for its sole power plant expired on 30 November 2009, according to Kan'an Obeid, deputy manager of the Energy Authority in the Strip.
While the EU had been providing the service after the contract expired, EU officials notified the Energy Authority that they would no longer pay for the fuel shipments unless the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah drafted a new agreement and payment scheme.
Obeid said that the fuel in Gaza will last until Thursday morning. If a new shipment does not arrive, Gaza's power plant will be forced to shut down, in turn affecting 70 percent of the population.

Ma'an adds that the Gaza Authority is still negotiating with the PA in Ramallah about a payment scheme and that the PA after reaching an agreement will hand the money over to the Israelis who then have to ship the fuel. Sounds very risky to me. The power plant has four generators, of which only one is operating during 16 hours a day, because of lack of diesel. Right now it is running on reserves.
Is anyone stepping in in order to help?
(And what about the Egyptian underground wall that is going to disrupt the tunnels? The tunnels which provide the needs of ordinary Gazan people as far as fuel is concerned?)

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