Gaza’s sole power plant halted electricity production Friday due to a shortage of fuel which led to a power outage across the Strip, a Hamas official said Friday.
“We have completely stopped the operation of [the] power plant this morning at 6:00 a.m. because we don’t have a single liter of fuel,” the Hamas energy authority deputy chairman, Fathi el-Sheikh Khalil, told AFP.
The plant supplies about a third of Gaza’s electricity needs. The Hamas official blamed Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority for the situation, the latter for demanding heavy taxes.
“Less than 50 percent of the needs of the Gaza Strip are currently covered by electricity from Israel [and] we can no longer get Egyptian fuel due to the destruction of tunnels from Egypt. We tried to get fuel from Israel via the Palestinian Authority, but it has imposed prohibitive taxes,” he was quoted by AFP as saying.
“The plant will remain shut until fuel supplies resume from Egypt through the tunnels or the Rafah border crossing, or from Israel if the Palestinian Authority agrees not to impose the heavy taxes,” he added.
Ties between Egypt and Hamas have deteriorated significantly since the ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July. The military-led regime in Cairo embarked on a campaign to destroy tunnels leading to Gaza, and from the strip to the Sinai region, citing security concerns as the peninsula further descended into lawlessness.