Egypt begins supplying Gaza with fuel amid electricity crisis

Egypt supplies 1 million liters of fuel for electric plant after Abbas halts payments for Gaza's electricity.

AFP,

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

Egypt began on Wednesday to deliver a million liters of fuel to Gaza, temporarily easing a
crisis that has left the enclave's two million residents with only a few hours of electricity per day.

The deliveries come two days after Israel began reducing the electricity it supplies to Gaza, following Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas's decision to stop paying for it amid a dispute with Hamas -- the rival terrorist group that runs Gaza.

The United Nations and rights groups had warned the cuts would have disastrous effects, with the UN warning of a "total collapse" in basic services.

The fuel will go to Gaza's sole power plant, which has been shut since April due to shortages, and will provide enough power for a few days, Samir Moutair, director general of the Gaza electricity company, told AFP.

The gas-rich Gulf state of Qatar, a strong ally and backer of the Islamist Hamas, has previously intervened to cover fuel costs.

But the Saudi Arabian-led campaign to isolate Qatar, initially backed by US President Donald Trump, has left the small Gulf state eager to distance itself from the Hamas terrorist organization.

Instead Egypt, led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has intervened, despite traditionally frosty relations with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.

In total 22 trucks carrying a million liters (220,000 gallons) of fuel for the power plant were entering Wednesday, Wael Abu Omar, the Rafah crossing spokesman, told AFP.

The energy authority said it expected the power station to resume operations in the coming hours.




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