Israel warned Hamas on Friday that the Gaza Strip may soon suffer blackouts unless the terror group pays for the diesel fuel it consumes, which is supplied by Israeli energy company Dor.
According to a report in the Hebrew-language website Ynet, Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said: “The cost of fuel to operate the power plant in Gaza is rising and Hamas is not willing to pay these costs or the cost of fuel it consumes on its own. If the situation is not resolved in the coming days, the production of electricity may be cut and it will be the residents of the Strip who face the dire consequences and pay the price. The responsibility lies with Hamas. We regret the fact that it will be the civilians in Gaza who will pay the price for this.”
A recent supply of diesel fuel from Qatar and Turkey to Gaza, which alleviated a previous such crisis, is reportedly about to run out.
In mid-September, Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement to resolve the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion ($530 million) to the Israel Electric Corporation.
The agreement was signed by Mordechai, Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheik, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Israel’s Ministry of Finance Director-General Shai Babad.
The IEC began to scale back the electricity flow to West Bank Palestinian cities in late May and early April due to the debt. Power supplies to Jericho and Bethlehem were limited, causing some blackouts, and the company threatened to do the same in other West Bank areas.
The agreement with the IEC from September did not affect the situation in the Gaza Strip.
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