Daily Israel Report

Gaza Power Plant Returns to Life After Israeli Crossing Reopens

Gaza's power plant returns to life after Israel reopens Kerem Shalom. Israel, as usual, is blamed for the power plant shutting down.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/30/2013, 4:13 AM

Truck carrying fuel arrives in Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing
Truck carrying fuel arrives in Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing
Flash 90

Gaza's only power plant returned to life on Sunday, hours after Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom border crossing and resumed fuel deliveries, AFP reported.

"The plant resumed functioning with the provision of fuel, which restarted with the reopening in the morning of the Kerem Shalom crossing," an official with the Palestinian Authority told the news agency.

On Saturday, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered that the Kerem Shalom border crossing be  re-opened for the passage of goods as of Sunday morning. The crossing had been closed since Tuesday after Gaza terrorists fatally shot an IDF civilian worker.

The Gazan power plant ground to a halt on Friday, and Gaza’s electrical firm was quick to blame “Israel's closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing" for the plant running out of fuel and shutting down.

Gazans had already been suffering from power outages since November, when the Hamas government shut down Gaza’s power plant, causing a pump station to flood and sewage to seep into the Mediterranean Sea.

The power station returned to life on December 15 after receiving a delivery of fuel purchased from Israel by the Palestinian Authority using funds donated by Qatar.

An Israeli security official denied the closure of Kerem Shalom was responsible for the lack of fuel at the power plant, saying it was a result of a financial conflict between Hamas and the PA.

Hamas constantly claims that Israel is imposing a “siege” on Gaza, even though Israel has consistently allowed humanitarian aid and other materials into Gaza, and has approved hundreds of internationally funded and monitored projects in the region. Hamas “returned the favor” several months ago by building a 2.5-kilometer (1.55-mile) tunnel which led from Gaza all the way into a kibbutz in southern Israel.

In fact, if anyone is imposing a “siege” on Gaza, it appears to be Egypt, as reports several weeks ago indicated.

Since the Hamas-friendly Egyptian government of Mohammed Morsi was toppled in July, Egypt's military has destroyed hundreds of the tunnels leading into Gaza, sending Gaza's economy on a steep downward spiral.

On Sunday, Hamas threatened violence over the alleged “Israeli siege”, with its spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, having warned that terror organizations will try to break the “siege” by force of arms if it continues.