GAZA CITY — The Gaza Strip’s only power plant shut down Saturday due to a lack of fuel from Israel, which closed a goods crossing after rocket attacks, the energy authority said.
“The plant has completely ceased to function due to a lack of fuel caused by (Israel’s) closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing,” said Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, deputy director of the energy authority in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas.
On Thursday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza and the Erez pedestrian crossing “until further security assessments,” after dozens of rockets were fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists on Wednesday
In response the energy authority cut the power plant’s operation from 12 hours a day to six until the fuel ran out.
The Israel Air Force launched airstrikes on 29 targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday night in retaliation for the attacks.
A truce that went into effect on Thursday has largely held, with only one rocket being fired at Israel on Friday and none reported on Saturday.
The Gaza power plant, which supplies some 30 percent of Gaza’s electricity needs, has been forced to shut down several times, most recently in December.