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Gaza faces power outages amid political infighting

Hamas claims it cannot afford Palestinian Authority’s fuel tax

Palestinian children do their homework by candlelight in their family home, during a power cut in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, on September 18, 2013. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Palestinian children do their homework by candlelight in their family home, during a power cut in the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, on September 18, 2013. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinian officials say Gaza’s power plant is not operating and the territory is facing power outages due to a fuel shortage caused by political infighting.

Hamas spokesman Ihab Ghussein, said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority has stopped transferring fuel to Gaza because the Gaza government won’t pay a newly imposed tax. Hamas says it cannot afford the tax.

In recent months, Egypt has closed smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border that provided fuel to the Palestinian territory. Egypt also has halted transfers of Qatari-funded fuel because of militant attacks on Egyptian security forces in the lawless Sinai Peninsula. Higher-priced Israeli fuel transfers are continuing.

Power outages in Gaza now last 12 hours because of the fuel shortage.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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