Gaza In Crises As Last Power Plant Shuts Down

Activists release paper lanterns in solidarity with Palestinians from Gaza, at the Ashkelon beachafter Israel cut back its already limited electricity shipments to the Gaza Strip in a step that is expected to worsen the power crunch plaguing the Hamas-controlled seaside territory, June 19, 2017. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Activists release paper lanterns in solidarity with Palestinians from Gaza, at the Ashkelon beach after Israel cut back its already limited electricity shipments to the Gaza Strip in a step that is expected to worsen the power crunch plaguing the Hamas-controlled seaside territory, June 19, 2017. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Gaza’s last functioning turbine was shut down late last night due to a severe shortage of fuel, plunging the Strip into near total darkness, according to Haaretz.

The besieged coastal enclave is home to more than two million people and has been suffering a fuel crisis since April due to a dispute over taxes between Hamas, which governs the Strip, and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Gaza requires 450 megawatts daily, but last month was only receiving a third of that, amounting to between three to four hours of electricity a day.

Israel, which supplied 125 megawatts, decided to cut energy provisions by 40 per cent last month, following a decision by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in an attempt to pressure Hamas.

Power lines that formerly provided electricity to the Strip from Egypt have been damaged by heavy fighting in the Sinai region. Two weeks ago, Egypt supplied four million liters of fuel in an attempt to boost operation of the plant, but it was insufficient to resolve the shortage.

Seven UN experts yesterday called for an immediate solution to the Gaza crisis and asked Israel, as the instigator of the ten-year siege, to take responsibility for the deterioration of the situation as per international humanitarian law.

A new report released by the UN this month raised concerns that the Strip is “de-developing” faster than anticipated, such that the forecast that Gaza would be unliveable by 2020 may be too optimistic.


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