Power supplies in Gaza take fresh hit

Three generators at Gaza's power plant go offline. Hamas blames rival PA.

Elad Benari,

Gaza City power plant
Gaza City power plant
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Power supplies took a fresh hit in Hamas-run Gaza on Saturday, AFP reported, with Hamas authorities accusing the rival Palestinian Authority (PA) of blocking fuel payments to Egypt from going through banks.

Egypt delivered a million liters of fuel to the station late last month, shortly after Israel began cutting electricity supplies to Gaza at the request of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The electricity authority in Gaza said two of the three generators at Gaza's only power plant were offline because "the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah stopped all the financial transactions through Palestinian banks to Egypt to buy fuel."

"This led to the stopping of fuel (deliveries) two days ago from Egypt," it said, according to AFP.

A spokesman for the PA government in Ramallah, Tarek Rishmawi, told the news agency that "the main reason for the worsening situation in Gaza is Hamas as they rejected the initiative of (PA chairman) Mahmoud Abbas to end the split" between Palestinian factions.

He did not confirm or deny the allegations of blocking fuel payments.

The electricity distribution company confirmed only one generator was operating, producing 23 megawatts of power -- which added to other sources means Gaza currently has a total of 93 megawatts a day.

More than 500 megawatts are required to serve the Gazan population.

Abbas, who runs the PA, has recently sought to squeeze his longtime rivals Hamas, who control Gaza after violently taking over the enclave in a bloody coup in 2007.

His government recently stopped paying for energy to Gaza as a means of pressuring its Hamas rulers.

A unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.

Since the unity government was dissolved, Hamas and Fatah have held several rounds of reconciliation talks in Doha, Qatar – but with no success.




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