Gaza electric plant shuts down

Dispute between Hamas and Fatah causes Gaza Strip's only functioning power plant to run out of fuel Sunday.

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Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant
Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant
Reuters

The Gaza Strip's only functioning power plant was out of action Sunday after running out of
fuel, the head of the territory's electricity provider told AFP.

Samir Metir said that all the plant's fuel, purchased with funding from Qatar and Turkey, had been used up.

He said it was not clear when the territory would receive more, owing to a "dispute" between the electricity authority in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.

The Islamist Hamas movement seized power in Gaza in 2007 from the Ramallah-based Fatah organisation of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

A mooted power-sharing agreement in the Strip has failed to materialize, and Gaza residents have been subjected to a decade-long Israeli blockade severely limiting supplies.

Fuel supply for the Strip's two million inhabitants has been a long-running source of dispute, with most homes in Gaza receiving two eight-hour periods of electricity a day even when the plant is operating normally.

Protests broke out in January over the power shortages, which the Gaza health ministry warned could have "dangerous consequences" for patients.

As things stand, residents can expect two six-hour periods of electricity, Metir said, "including electricity bought from Israel and Egypt."